This work is a contribution toward identifying the impact of “local” institutions on development-related outcomes both at the level of villages as well as the levels of households based on primary data collected by ourselves. We randomly selected 36 villages in the states of Maharashtra, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh—12 in each of these states—in India and these were the sites for our observation and data collection.
At least from onwards Acemoglu et al. (2001), the role of institutions—the rules and conventions underlying socio-economic interactions within a social unit—in affecting development-related outcomes has been a favourite theme of study among economists specializing in problems of development. Apart from taking institutions in general (and considering it as an outcome of the persistsnce of history as in Banerjee and Iyer, 2005 and Iyer, 2010) specific components of institution that have been studied include the prevailing tradition about property rights (e.g., Goldstein and Udry, 2008), exogenously induced participation of women in local level governance (e.g., Chattopadhyay and Duflo, 2004) etc. A substantial body of such works has been in the context of India.