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Do elected councils improve governance ? experimental evidence on local institutions in Afghanistan

Andrew Beath, Fotini Christia and Ruben Enikolopov

No 6510, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: Using data from a field experiment in 500 villages, this paper studies how local institutions affect the quality of governance, as measured by aid distribution outcomes. In villages where elected councils exist and manage distributions, aid targeting improves. However, if the distribution is not clearly assigned to either the council or customary leaders, the creation of elected councils increases embezzlement and makes decision-making less inclusive. Requiring that women manage the distribution jointly with customary leaders also increases embezzlement. Thus, while elected councils can improve governance, overlapping mandates between new and existing institutions may result in increased rent-seeking.

Keywords: Social Accountability; Governance Indicators; National Governance; Housing&Human Habitats; Peri-Urban Communities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-06-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-cwa, nep-exp, nep-pol and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (22)

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Working Paper: Do Elected Councils Improve Governance? Experimental Evidence on Local Institutions in Afghanistan (2018) Downloads
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