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Conflict of interest as a barrier to local accountability

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  • Abigail Barr
  • Andrew Zeitlin

Abstract

Using a specially designed lab-type experiment conducted in the field, we compare the willingness of head teachers, centrally appointed public servants, and community representatives to hold Ugandan primary school teachers to account. We find no difference in the willingness of centrally appointed public servants and community representatives. However, head teachers are significantly less willing to punish teachers whose performance falls 20 to 40 percent below a generally accepted benchmark. In addition, head teachers are twice as likely to punish teachers who “over-perform”, a behaviour akin to punishing rate-busters.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2011-13.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2011-13

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Keywords: Public service; Education; Experiments; Africa; Accountability; Methodology.;

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  1. Barr, Abigail & Lindelow, Magnus & Serneels, Pieter, 2009. "Corruption in public service delivery: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 225-239, October.
  2. Banerjee, Abhijit & Banerji, Rukmini & Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Khemani, Stuti, 2008. "Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6781, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Natalia Candelo & Alejandro Gaviria & Sandra Polania & Rajiv Sethi, 2008. "Discrimination in the Provision of Social Services to the Poor: A Field Experimental Study," Research Department Publications, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department 3247, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  5. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "Third-party punishment and social norms," Experimental, EconWPA 0409002, EconWPA.
  6. Menno Pradhan & Daniel Suryadarma & Amanda Beatty & Maisy Wong & Arya Gaduh & Armida Alisjahbana & Rima Prama Artha, 2014. "Improving Educational Quality through Enhancing Community Participation: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment in Indonesia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 105-26, April.
  7. Abigail Barr & Andrew Zeitlin, 2010. "Dictator games in the lab and in nature: External validity tested and investigated in Ugandan primary schools," CSAE Working Paper Series, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford 2010-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  8. Benjamin Olken, 2005. "Monitoring corruption: Evidence from a field experiment in indonesia," Natural Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00317, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Francesco Guala, 2002. "On the scope of experiments in economics: comments on Siakantaris," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 261-267, March.
  10. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
  11. Michael Kremer & Alaka Holla, 2009. "Improving Education in the Developing World: What Have We Learned from Randomized Evaluations?," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 513-545, 05.
  12. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
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Cited by:
  1. Stefano Caria & Paolo Falco, 2014. "Do employers trust workers too little? An experimental study of trust in the labour market," CSAE Working Paper Series, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford 2014-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

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