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

A+| A| A-

Heterogeneous Pro-Poor Targeting in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

Using 2009-10 National Sample Survey data, this paper describes patterns of job-seeking, rationing, and participation in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. At the national level, it finds that the self-targeting design of MGNREGS leads to greater rates of self-selection into the programme by poorer and scheduled tribe or scheduled caste households. However, the administrative rationing of MGNREGS jobs is not pro-poor but exhibits a sort of middle-class bias. At the state level, roughly half of 27 states exhibit rationing and participation profiles that signal effective pro-poor targeting; the other half struggle to avoid high rates and regressive patterns of administrative rationing of jobs to which the poor have a legal right.

We thank Cornell University’s Institute of Social Sciences and Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies for research support. We thank Arnab Basu, Jean Dreze, Annemie Maertens, Rinku Murgai, Sudha Narayanan and Marc Rockmore for helpful comments on an earlier draft. We are grateful to a referee of this journal for comments. Any errors are ours alone.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

Pay INR 200.00

(Readers in India)

Pay $ 12.00

(Readers outside India)

Back to Top