Samuel Asher|Ideas for India

Samuel Asher
World Bank
Sam is an economist at the Development Research Group (DECRG) at the World Bank. He is also an associate of the Center for International Development (Harvard University) and an affiliate at the Centre for Policy Research (New Delhi). He received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and was then a postdoctoral research fellow in the Economics Department and Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

His research focuses on economic development, with a particular interest in political economy and the constraints faced by firms. He is also starting new work on patterns of urbanisation, including the spatial distribution of economic activity in Indian cities. Most of his work is on India, where he has been working since 2005, although he is in the early phases of work on the determinants of infrastructure costs in East Africa.

Articles By Samuel Asher
Do ruling coalition-affiliated MLAs bring more development to their constituencies?
Posted On: 22 Jun 2015

Despite the dismantling of the License Raj in the 1990s, interaction with government officials remains an important impediment to doing business in India. This column analyses the role of politics in determining which regions succeed and fail, and finds that MLAs from ruling parties make it easier for firms to do business in their constituencies. They do so not by providing public goods, but by helping firms clear bureaucratic hurdles that would otherwise hinder their operations.
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