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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, Santosh Mathew and Rohini Pande
Additional contact information
Esther Duflo: MIT
Santosh Mathew: Indian Ministry of Rural Development
Rohini Pande: Harvard University

Working Paper Series from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government

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.

Date: 2016-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
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https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/getFile.aspx?Id=1468

Related works:
Journal Article: E-governance, Accountability, and Leakage in Public Programs: Experimental Evidence from a Financial Management Reform in India (2020) Downloads
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 (2017) 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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