EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on Aid Impacts Using a Pre-Analysis Plan

Katherine Casey, Rachel Glennerster () and Edward Miguel ()

No 17012, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Although institutions are believed to be key determinants of economic performance, there is limited evidence on how they can be successfully reformed. Evaluating the effects of specific reforms is complicated by the lack of exogenous variation in the presence of institutions; the difficulty of empirically measuring institutional performance; and the temptation to "cherry pick" a few novel treatment effect estimates from amongst the large number of indicators required to capture the complex and multi-faceted subject. We evaluate one attempt to make local institutions more egalitarian by imposing minority participation requirements in Sierra Leone and test for longer term learning-by-doing effects. In so doing, we address these three pervasive challenges by: exploiting the random assignment of a participatory local governance intervention, developing innovative real-world outcomes measures, and using a pre-analysis plan to bind our hands against data mining. The specific program under study is a "community driven development" (CDD) project, which has become a popular strategy amongst donors to improve local institutions in developing countries. We find positive short-run effects on local public goods provision and economic outcomes, but no sustained impacts on collective action, decision-making processes, or the involvement of marginalized groups (like women) in local affairs, indicating that the intervention was ineffective at durably reshaping local institutions. We further show that in the absence of a pre-analysis plan, we could have instead generated two highly divergent, equally erroneous interpretations of the impacts--one positive, one negative--of external aid on institutions.

JEL-codes: F35 H41 O4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa and nep-soc
Date: 2011-05
Note: LE PE POL
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as Katherine Casey & Rachel Glennerster & Edward Miguel, 2012. "Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on Aid Impacts Using a Preanalysis Plan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1755-1812.

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.nber.org/papers/w17012.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on Aid Impacts Using a Preanalysis Plan (2012) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17012

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.nber.org/papers/w17012

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2019-10-22
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17012