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The power of information in public services: Evidence from education in Uganda

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  • Reinikka, Ritva
  • Svensson, Jakob

Abstract

In this paper we argue that innovations in governance of social services are an effective way to improve outcomes such as attainment of universal primary education. To test this hypothesis we exploit an unusual policy experiment: a newspaper campaign in Uganda aimed at reducing the capture of public funds by providing schools (parents) with systematic information to monitor local officials' handling of a large education grant program. Combining survey and administrative data, we show that public access to information can be a powerful deterrent to the capture of funds at the local level and that the reduction in the capture of funds that resulted had a positive effect on school enrollment and learning outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 956-966

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7-8:p:956-966

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Public organizations Educational finance Economic development;

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References

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  1. Paul Glewwe, 2002. "Schools and Skills in Developing Countries: Education Policies and Socioeconomic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 436-482, June.
  2. Esther Duflo & Abhijit Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Leigh Linden, 2006. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomised Experiments in India," Working Papers id:360, eSocialSciences.
  3. Di Tella, Rafael & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2003. "The Role of Wages and Auditing during a Crackdown on Corruption in the City of Buenos Aires," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(1), pages 269-92, April.
  4. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  5. Benjamin Olken, 2005. "Monitoring corruption: Evidence from a field experiment in indonesia," Natural Field Experiments 00317, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Incentives to Learn," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 437-456, August.
  7. Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "Who must pay bribes and how much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2486, The World Bank.
  8. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Enrico Moretti, 2005. "Did Iraq Cheat the United Nations? Underpricing, Bribes, and the Oil for Food Program," NBER Working Papers 11202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Olken, Benjamin A., 2006. "Corruption and the costs of redistribution: Micro evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 853-870, May.
  10. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2001. "Explaining Leakage of Public Funds," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  11. Das, Jishnu, 2004. "Equity in educational expenditures : can government subsidies help?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3249, The World Bank.
  12. Glewwe, Paul & Kremer, Michael, 2006. "Schools, Teachers, and Education Outcomes in Developing Countries," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  13. François Bourguignon & Maurizio Bussolo & Luiz A. Pereira da Silva, 2008. "The Impact of Macroeconomic Policies on Poverty and Income Distribution : Macro-Micro Evaluation Techniques and Tools," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6586, October.
  14. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2004. "Local Capture: Evidence From a Central Government Transfer Program in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 678-704, May.
  15. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as policy makers: Evidence from a randomized policy experiment in india," Framed Field Experiments 00224, The Field Experiments Website.
  16. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  17. Priyanka Pandey & Sangeeta Goyal & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2009. "Community participation in public schools: impact of information campaigns in three Indian states," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 355-375.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico & Moreira, Diana B., 2012. "Corrupting learning," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 712-726.
  2. Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2011. "The Regressive Demands of Demand-Driven Development," Working Papers 2011-21, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  3. J. Atsu Amegashie, 2013. "Consumers' Complaints, the Nature of Corruption, and Social Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 4295, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Suryadarma, Daniel & Yamauchi, Chikako, 2013. "Missing public funds and targeting performance: Evidence from an anti-poverty transfer program in Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 62-76.
  5. Dena Ringold & Alaka Holla & Margaret Koziol & Santhosh Srinivasan, 2012. "Citizens and Service Delivery : Assessing the Use of Social Accountability Approaches in the Human Development Sectors," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2377, October.
  6. Tetsushi Sonobe, 2012. "An Inquiry into Corruption Norms: Survey Data of GRIPS Alumni," GRIPS Discussion Papers 12-15, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  7. Beekman, Gonne & Bulte, Erwin H. & Nillesen, Eleonora E.M., 2013. "Corruption and economic activity: Micro level evidence from rural Liberia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 70-79.
  8. Holvoet, Nathalie & Inberg, Liesbeth & Sekirime, Susan, 2013. "Institutional analysis of monitoring and evaluation systems : comparing M&E systems in Ugandas health and education sector," IOB Working Papers 2013.03, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB).

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