Public Good Provision in Indian Rural Areas Through Collective Action by Microfinance Groups

Casini et al. (2015) examined the social behavior of PRADAN’s SHGs and how it influenced the governance of rural Indian communities. As women join SHGs they tend to participate more frequently in collective actions, usually after about three years of weekly meetings. The SHGs provide an avenue for women to voice their opinions on “women’s issues”. In Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts in Odisha,these collective actions did have a significant impact on local government officials and the issues they focused on. In areas with SHG presence they were more likely to focus on issues that SHG members cared about. Officials were 29% more likely to deal with alcohol problems, 31% more likely to address school problems and 35% more likely to address forestry issues, though male government officials were still less likely to hear out the women than female government officials.  

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