Comparative Politics & Political Economy Webinar Series presents Tanu Kumar

Event Date: 

Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Event Location: 

  • Virtual

Comparative Politics & Political Economy Webinar Series

Home-price subsidies increase local-level political participation in urban India
Tanu Kumar

Thursday, 10/22 | 12:30 to 1:30pm

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Meeting ID: 993 2354 1729 | Passcode: 218057

Abstract: Home-price subsidies are common in low- and middle-income countries. How do they affect an important input into local governance, namely citizens’ propensity to make everyday demands or claims? I study the effects of a program in Mumbai, India through an original survey of winners and non-winners of program lotteries. Winning increases participants’ reported claims to improve services, knowledge about municipal government, and changes policy preferences, even among those who rent out the homes. Transfers can thus generate active citizenship through many channels including increased political capacity, improved perceptions of self-efficacy, expanded expectations of government, and changed the motivations of recipients. They also create interest groups at the local level, where their actions can have both positive and negative externalities. The findings are among the first causally identified effects of policy on claim-making, and add a new context and dependent variable to the literature on housing policy.

Bio: I am a postdoctoral fellow at William & Mary's Global Research Institute. I am also affiliated with the Department of Government. I study how policies to house and provide essential services to growing urban populations shape, and are further shaped by, the behavior of urban citizens and politicians. My primary regional focus is on India, but I am also studying cities in the United States and Eastern Africa. I completed my PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley in May 2020.