Measuring performance: Ranking state success over two decades in India

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Asian Economics


This paper proposes new composite measures of relative and dynamic state performance to improve governance and delivery of public programs in developing countries with a federal structure. We illustrate the use of the indices to rank the performance of 19 major Indian states on two large development programs launched by the Indian government over the last two decades using publicly available data. Although we find volatility in performance over time, there exists a positive correlation between measures of initial (administrative) state capacity, development and accountability with program outcomes. Our findings have important implications for both the design and implementation of large-scale public programs across developing countries.



Publication Date



Open Access, Green

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