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Attitudes and attributes: a field experiment with public officials and transfer recipients In Colombia

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  • Juan Camilo Cárdenas

    ()

  • Rajiv Sethi

    ()

Abstract

Any system of transfer payments must be administered by officials with some degree of discretionary power over the manner in which funds are allocated. Attitudes of such officials regarding the worthiness of various recipients therefore have implications for resource allocation. Using a sample of actual public servants working in education, health, child care and nutrition programs, and a sample of potential and actual beneficiaries of such programs, we attempt to identify the set of recipient attributes that induce the most generous responses from officials. This is done using a design we call the distributive dictator game" which requires officials to rank recipients, with the understanding that a higher ranking corresponds to an increased likelihood of getting a voucher convertible into cash. Interpreting the ranking as the outcome of a random utility model, we estimate the effects of recipient attributes using a rank-order logistic regression. We find that public officials tend to favor women, married persons, individuals with many minor dependents, and refugees from political violence. "

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE in its series DOCUMENTOS CEDE with number 006881.

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Length: 19
Date of creation: 31 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:col:000089:006881

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Related research

Keywords: Public officials; transfer recipients; field experiments; rank-order logistic regression.;

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  1. Branas-Garza, Pablo, 2006. "Poverty in dictator games: Awakening solidarity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 306-320, July.
  2. Christina M. Fong, 2007. "Evidence from an Experiment on Charity to Welfare Recipients: Reciprocity, Altruism and the Empathic Responsiveness Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 1008-1024, 07.
  3. Barr, Abigail & Lindelow, Magnus & Serneels, Pieter, 2004. "To serve the community or oneself - the public servant's dilemma," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3187, The World Bank.
  4. Beggs, S. & Cardell, S. & Hausman, J., 1981. "Assessing the potential demand for electric cars," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-19, September.
  5. Catherine C. Eckel, 2007. "People Playing Games: The Human Face of Experimental Economics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 840–857, April.
  6. Steven Levitt & John List, 2007. "Viewpoint: On the generalizability of lab behaviour to the field," Artefactual Field Experiments 00001, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Vivi Alatas & Lisa Cameron & Ananish Chaudhuri & Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan, 2006. "Subject Pool Effects in a Corruption Experiment: A Comparison of Indonesian Public Servants and Indonesian Students," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 975, The University of Melbourne.
  8. Catherine Eckel & Philip Grossman, 2000. "Volunteers and Pseudo-Volunteers: The Effect of Recruitment Method in Dictator Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 107-120, October.
  9. Omar Azfar & William Nelson, 2007. "Transparency, wages, and the separation of powers: An experimental analysis of corruption," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 471-493, March.
  10. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J. & Johnston, Rachel M., 2005. "An experimental test of the crowding out hypothesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1543-1560, August.
  11. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Holmes, Jessica & Matthews, Peter Hans, 2004. "Charity Auctions: A Field Experimental Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 1330, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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