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E-governance, Accountability, and Leakage in Public Programs: Experimental Evidence from a Financial Management Reform in India

Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Clément Imbert, Santhosh Mathew and Rohini Pande

No 11761, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: In collaboration with the Government of Bihar, India, we conducted a large-scale experiment to evaluate whether transparency in fiscal transfer systems can increase accountability and reduce corruption in the implementation of a workfare program. The reforms introduced electronic fund-flow, cut out administrative tiers, and switched the basis of transfer amounts from forecasts to documented expenditures. Treatment reduced leakages along three measures: expenditures and hours claimed dropped while an independent household survey found no impact on actual employment and wages received; a matching exercise reveals a reduction in fake households on payrolls; and local program officials' self-reported median personal assets fell.

Keywords: audits; financial reform; leakage; transparency; workfare (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H11 O2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
Date: 2017-01
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Related works:
Working Paper: E-governance, Accountability, and Leakage in Public Programs: Experimental Evidence from a Financial Management Reform in India (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: E-Governance, Accountability, and Leakage in Public Programs: Experimental Evidence from a Financial Management Reform in India (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: E-governance, Accountability, and Leakage in Public Programs: Experimental Evidence from a Financial Management Reform in India (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: E-governance, Accountability, and Leakage in Public Programs: Experimental Evidence from a Financial Management Reform in India (2016) Downloads
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