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Public Information is an Incentive for Politicians: Experimental Evidence from Delhi Elections

Abhijit Banerjee, Nils Enevoldsen, Rohini Pande and Michael Walton

No 26925, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: In 2010, we informed a random set of Delhi councilors, some ineligible for re-election in their current ward, that a newspaper would report on their performance shortly prior to the 2012 city elections. Using slum dwellers' spending preferences, we created a councilor-specific index of pro-poor spending. Treated councilors increased pro-poor spending in high-slum wards. Cross-cutting experiments suggest that the public nature of report cards, not access to information on public services per se, incentivized councilors. Data on party ticket allocation and electoral outcomes shows that, in low-information situations, credible public disclosures of politician achievements matters to both parties and voters.

JEL-codes: H4 O1 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-pol
Note: DEV PE
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