Governance in Developing Asia
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Governance in Developing Asia

Public Service Delivery and Empowerment

Edited by Anil B. Deolalikar, Shikha Jha and Pilipinas F. Quising

Governance in Developing Asia is one of the first books of its kind to provide an overview of the role that better governance and citizen empowerment can play in improving public service delivery in developing Asia. The World Development Report 2004 set a framework for public service delivery in terms of the short and long roads to accountability of service providers to citizens. More than a decade on, this important book revisits the issue and departs from the WDR framework, highlighting its shortcomings and offering alternative solutions. The contributors present fresh evidence on the relationship between governance and development outcomes, including growth and indicators of living standards. They argue that the Asia-Pacific region must do better in delivering essential public services if it wishes to continue improving the quality of life for millions of its people. They show how the quantity and quality of public services in a country can be improved if the government actively solicits citizen involvement in service delivery.
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Chapter 4: Governance and development outcomes in Asia

Kunal Sen


The relationship between governance and economic development is one of the most important areas of research in international development. Surprisingly, given the need to better understand it, much of the empirical literature has focused on the narrower question of whether good governance leads to higher levels of income (Evans and Rauch 1999; Kaufmann et al. 2009). Yet there is scant literature on the relationship between governance and broader development outcomes, such as poverty and inequality, human development, years of schooling, gender inequality, infant and maternal mortality, and access to adequate sanitation (the main exceptions are Rajkumar and Swaroop 2008 and Hallerod et al. 2013). With a focus on developing Asia, this chapter examines this relationship. Development institutions are increasingly realizing that good governance is not only a worthy goal in itself, but also a way to affect a variety of other outcomes, particularly economic growth and development (Gisselquist 2012). In poorly governed countries, high levels of corruption lead to the evasion of taxes that could have been used to finance productive government investment and service delivery to the poor (Rajkumar and Swaroop 2008).

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