Saad Gulzar Ideas for India

Saad Gulzar
Stanford University
Saad Gulzar is a Ph.D. Candidate in Politics at NYU. He uses field experiments and data from government programmes to study the political economy of development, governance, and comparative politics. His research focuses on South Asia, including Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka. In recent work, forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, he uses data from half a million villages across India to show that successful implementation of one of the world’s largest development programmes - the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) - depends on whether politicians are able to internalise electoral benefits. His current research uses a field experiment across 240 villages in Pakistan to examine how motivations to seek political office determine whether citizens decide to contest elections, and the consequences this decision carries for the representativeness and performance of politicians. Saad is a founding co-convener of the Northeast Workshop in Empirical Political Science (NEWEPS), a biannual conference on political economy and development research. He is a student fellow at the Association for Analytical Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies (AALIMS), a graduate fellow at the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP), and an affiliate of the Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR). Before starting graduate school, he was a Pakistan economist at the International Growth Centre.


Articles By Saad Gulzar
When does politics work for development?
Posted On: 15 Jul 2016

Topics:   Political Economy

Political interference in the bureaucracy is generally viewed with suspicion. Yet, in a democracy, should we not expect politicians to push bureaucrats to work for the best interests of citizens? This column shows that bureaucrats implement MNREGA much better in places where politicians are able to claim credit for improvements. This is good news for democratic accountability, and carries important implications for the design of development programmes.
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