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Improving Last-Mile Service Delivery Using Phone-Based Monitoring

Karthik Muralidharan, Paul Niehaus, Sandip Sukhtankar and Jeffrey Weaver

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2021, vol. 13, issue 2, 52-82

Abstract: Improving "last-mile" public service delivery is a recurring challenge in developing countries. Could the widespread adoption of mobile phones provide a scalable, cost-effective means for improvement? We use a large-scale experiment to evaluate the impact of phone-based monitoring on a program that transferred nearly a billion dollars to 5.7 million Indian farmers. In randomly selected jurisdictions, officials were informed that program implementation would be measured via calls with beneficiaries. This led to a 7.8 percent reduction in the number of farmers who did not receive their transfers. The program was highly cost-effective, costing 3.6 cents for each additional dollar delivered.

JEL-codes: O13 O33 Q12 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Improving Last-Mile Service Delivery using Phone-Based Monitoring (2018) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1257/app.20190783

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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics is currently edited by Alexandre Mas

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:13:y:2021:i:2:p:52-82