ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Do Policies Targeting Poor Districts Work?

This paper investigates the impact of the Backward Regions Grant Fund on change in access to amenities for more than 5,000 subdistricts using data from the Census of India, 2001 and 2011. Using covariate balancing propensity score-weighted matching method, this paper shows that the BRGF programme failed to improve the public goods access in backward areas. The results also indicate that the non-BRGF subdistricts have performed better regarding public goods access. Further, using a nationally representative panel survey of rural households in India, the paper shows no significant improvement in household income and consumption expenditure due to the programme.

The Existence of a North–South Divide in Kerala

It has been acknowledged that the disparities in the development indicators between north and south Kerala have been reduced significantly post independence. This reduction is typically attributed to developments in the social sector. However, there is considerable difference existing between Malabar and Travancore–Cochin in terms of living standards and key infrastructural facilities. The multidimensional poverty index has also revealed that the incidence of poverty is high in northern Kerala compared to southern Kerala. People-centric policies coupled with decentralisation have effectively reduced the outcome disparity, while the Malabar region still lags behind the Travancore–Cochin region in some key aspects.

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