EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Does Development Aid Undermine Political Accountability? Leader and Constituent Responses to a Large-Scale Intervention

Raymond Guiteras and Ahmed Mobarak ()

No 21434, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Comprehensive evaluation requires tracking indirect effects of interventions, such as politicians and constituents reacting to the arrival of a development program. We study political economy responses to a large scale intervention in Bangladesh, where 346 communities consisting of 16,600 households were randomly assigned to control, information or subsidy treatments to encourage investments in improved sanitation. In one intervention where the leaders’ role in program allocation was not clear to constituents, leaders react by spending more time in treatment areas, and treated constituents appear to attribute credit to their local leader for a randomly assigned program. In contrast, in another lottery where subsidy assignment is clearly and transparently random, the lottery winners do not attribute any extra credit to the politician relative to lottery losers. These reactions are consistent with a model in which constituents have imperfect information about leader ability. A third intervention returns to a random subset of treated households to inform them that the program was externally funded and randomly assigned. This simple, scalable information treatment eliminates the excess credit that leaders received in villages that received subsidies. These results suggest that while politicians may respond to try to take credit for development programs, it is not easy for them do so. Political accountability is not easily undermined by development aid.

JEL-codes: O1 O43 P16 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-pol and nep-ure
Note: DEV POL
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.nber.org/papers/w21434.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Does Development Aid Undermine Political Accountability? Leader and Constituent Responses to a Large-Scale Intervention (2016) 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:21434

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.nber.org/papers/w21434

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 2020-07-28
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21434