Can good projects succeed in bad communities?
AbstractThe lack of "social capital" is frequently given as an explanation for why communities perform poorly. Yet to what extent can project design compensate for these community-specific constraints? I address this question by examining determinants of collective success in a costly problem for developing economies -- the upkeep of local public goods. It is often difficult to obtain reliable outcome measures for comparable collective tasks across well-defined communities. In order to address this I conducted detailed surveys of community-maintained infrastructure projects in Northern Pakistan. The findings show that while community-specific constraints do matter, their impact can be mitigated by better project design. Inequality, social fragmentation, and lack of leadership in the community do have adverse consequences but these can be overcome by changes in project complexity, community participation, and return distribution. Moreover, the evidence suggests that better design matters even more for communities with poorer attributes. The use of community fixed effects and instrumental variables offers a significant improvement in empirical identification over previous studies. These results provide evidence that appropriate design can enable projects to succeed even in "bad" communities.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.
Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578
Public goods Development Collective action Social capital Institutional design;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
- Benjamin A. Olken, 2005.
"Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia,"
NBER Working Papers
11753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 200-249.
- Benjamin Olken, 2005. "Monitoring corruption: Evidence from a field experiment in indonesia," Natural Field Experiments 00317, The Field Experiments Website.
- Fritzen, Scott A., 2007. "Can the Design of Community-Driven Development Reduce the Risk of Elite Capture? Evidence from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1359-1375, August.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
- Edward Miguel, 2001.
"Ethnic Diversity and School Funding in Kenya,"
- Edward Miguel., 2001. "Ethnic Diversity and School Funding in Kenya," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C01-119, University of California at Berkeley.
- Miguel, Edward A., 2001. "Ethnic Diversity and School Funding in Kenya," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0101m00c, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999.
"Public goods and ethnic divisions,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2108, The World Bank.
- Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Asim Ijaz Khwaja, 2004. "Is Increasing Community Participation Always a Good Thing?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 427-436, 04/05.
- Hausman, Jerry A & Taylor, William E, 1981.
"Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects,"
Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1377-98, November.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996.
"Trust in Large Organizations,"
NBER Working Papers
5864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000.
"Participation In Heterogeneous Communities,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904, August.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 1999. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," NBER Working Papers 7155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002.
"Social Capital and Community Governance,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 419-436, November.
- Dayton-Johnson, Jeff, 2000. "Determinants of collective action on the local commons: a model with evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 181-208, June.
- Isham, Jonathan & Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1995. "Does Participation Improve Performance? Establishing Causality with Subjective Data," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 175-200, May.
- Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1998. "Wealth Inequality and Efficiency in the Commons, Part II: The Regulated Case," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 1-22, January.
- Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
- Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
- Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
- Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
- Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
- La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Benjamin, Dwayne & Brandt, Loren & Giles, John, 2010.
"Did higher inequality impede growth in rural China ?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
5483, The World Bank.
- Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & John Giles, 2011. "Did Higher Inequality Impede Growth in Rural China?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(557), pages 1281-1309, December.
- Omar Sene, 2012.
"Trust as a Proxy for the Ability to Produce Local Public Goods: Testing Different Measures,"
UniversitÃ© Paris1 PanthÃ©on-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers)
- Omar Sene, 2012. "Trust as a Proxy for the Ability to Produce Local Public Goods: Testing Different Measures," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12041, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
- repec:hal:journl:halshs-00476016 is not listed on IDEAS
- repec:ner:dauphi:urn:hdl:123456789/11437 is not listed on IDEAS
- repec:hal:journl:halshs-00717141 is not listed on IDEAS
- Sawada, Yasuyuki & Kasahara, Ryuji & Aoyagi, Keitaro & Shoji, Masahiro & Ueyama, Mika, 2012.
"Modes of Collective Action in Village Economies: Evidence from Natural and Artefactual Field Experiments in a Developing Country,"
47, JICA Research Institute.
- Yasuyuki Sawada & Ryuji Kasahara & Keitaro Aoyagi & Masahiro Shoji & Mika Ueyama, 2013. "Modes of Collective Action in Village Economies: Evidence from Natural and Artefactual Field Experiments in a Developing Country," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 30(1), pages 31-51, March.
- Róbert F. Veszteg & Erita Narhetali, 2010. "Public-good games and the Balinese," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(9), pages 660-675, September.
- Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2011. "Crossing boundaries : gender, caste and schooling in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5710, The World Bank.
- Janssens, Wendy, 2010. "Women's Empowerment and the Creation of Social Capital in Indian Villages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 974-988, July.
- Surajeet Chakravarty & Miguel A. Fonseca, 2012. "The Effect of Social Fragmentation on Public Good Provision: an Experimental Study," Discussion Papers 1207, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
- Saint-Macary, Camille, 2012. "Are Ethnically Diverse Communities “Bad” Communities? An Empirical Study on Social Capital Formation in Northern Vietnam," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/11437, Paris Dauphine University.
- Go Kotera & Nobuhiro Mizuno & Keisuke Okada & Sovannroeun Samreth, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity, Democracy, and Health: Theory and Evidence," KIER Working Papers 790, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
- Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2011.
"Corruption in Developing Countries,"
NBER Working Papers
17398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- repec:hal:journl:halshs-00424155 is not listed on IDEAS
- Dionissi Aliprantis, 2011. "Community-Based Well Maintenance in Rural Haiti," OVE Working Papers 0611, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
- Dionissi Aliprantis, 2012. "Community-based well maintenance in rural Haiti," Working Paper 1201, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.