Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Political Science

First Advisor

Devesh Kapur

Abstract

The two questions motivating this project are, first, why did India see such a rapid growth in private education since 1980? And, second, what are the effects of this growth on citizen-state relations? Approximately 35 percent of students attended a private school in 2012, nearly a doubling in private school enrollment since 2003. In 1987, Indian households spent an average of 10 Rupees (approximately 17 cents) out of pocket on education per year. That figure stood at 2,700 Rupees (approximately $45) per year in 2014.

To answer the first question, I rely on a variety of methods, including historical and archival methods of official government and international financial institution policy documents, parliamentary debates, and secondary data sources. I argue that initial choices made in the expansion of government-provided education in the 1980s and 90s created conditions that allowed for private providers to later thrive.

At the same time, interactions with government services serve as an important site of political socialization. What then happens when governments are no longer the primary providers of services? To answer the second question, I rely on an original household survey with households that were entered into a private school voucher lottery in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Here I find that access to private education does not change a household's engagement with the Indian state, but it does change their political preferences. Household's with access to private services express stronger preferences for private services and value government services less. I suggest that governments are fundamental in "making markets'" and, in a process of policy feedback, can then create constituents that are later hostile to the expansion of government provided services.

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