Bureaucratic Representation and State Responsiveness: The 1918 Pandemic in India


Guo Xu combines personnel records with vital statistics 1910-1925 to study how bureaucratic representation affects mortality in 1,271 Indian towns during the 1918 Influenza pandemic. Exploiting the rotation of senior colonial officers across districts and a cross-border comparison, towns headed by Indian (as opposed to British) district officers experienced 15% lower deaths. The lower mortality effects extend beyond the urban areas and coincide with greater responsiveness in relief provision. Bureaucratic representation can thus be a powerful way to increase state responsiveness during times of crisis.

About the speaker

Guo Xu is an Assistant Professor at the Berkeley Haas School of Business. He obtained his PhD in Economics from the LSE. His research focuses on the selection, recruitment and allocation of talent in private and public sector organizations. Visit his personal website >>


To Attend the Event

This webinar will take place on 1st December 2020 (Tuseday) at 11:00am  HKT (GMT+8). See corresponding times for different times zones

The speaker will present for 1 hour, followed by a 15-minute Q&A session. 

The webinar will be held online via Zoom. ***** Register HERE ****** Zoom will send you a confirmation email right away upon registration with a unique link to join the webinar.  Reminder emails will also be sent 1 day and again 1 hour in advance of the event.  Please check your spam box if you cannot find them in the inbox.   

As part of our security measures, the webinar room will be locked about 20 minutes after the webinar starts. 

Also, see here for advice from the university's IT office on Zoom best practices for attendees.   

The event will be broadcast live on the Institute's Facebook page.  Please "like" the page to get automatically notified once the broadcast starts. 

The event will be recorded for internal use only and the recording will not be made available online after the event.  

This webinar is part of a series of Zoom events that explores issues in growth and development in India. The series' academic committee consists of Takashi Kurosaki (Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study), Pushkar Maitra (Monash University and Sujata Visaria (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology).    


Our next webinar series

Target and Community Networks in Anti-Poverty Programs