Politicians and their promises in an uncertain world: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment in India
Kunal Sen (),
Sandip Mitra and
No wp-2019-60, WIDER Working Paper Series from World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER)
In emerging economies, pro-social policy outcomes may be prevented by bureaucratic‚ inefficiency, capture by elected or non-elected office holders, or by other hurdles. For local‚ citizens, uncertainty about the true cause of such failures often prevails. We study the pro-sociality‚ of politicians' decision-making in a modified dictator game with real politician participants in rural‚ India. In our game, a recipient citizen does not know whether dictator politician capture or bad‚ luck is to blame when receiving zero. Using a 2 x 2 design, we investigate how the combination‚ of two non-monetary instruments affect politician behaviour in this hard to govern environment. The first instrument, a (non-binding) promise, is a commitment device; the second introduces a‚ minimal relational lever between the politician and the recipient. We find that politician-dictator‚ giving becomes dramatically more pro-social, from zero to 50:50-giving, when these two‚ instruments are combined. Our results provide new insights about the scope for norm-based, lowcost‚ mechanisms to tackle governance-related asymmetric information challenges in developing country settings.
Keywords: Asymmetric information; Field experiment; Politician; promise (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/Publi ... r/PDF/wp-2019-60.pdf
Working Paper: Politicians and their promises in an uncertain world: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment in India (2018)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp-2019-60
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in WIDER Working Paper Series from World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Mauricio Roa Grisales ().