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Can Good Projects Succeed in Bad Communities? Collective Action in the Himalayas

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  • Khwaja, Asim Ijaz

    (Harvard U)

Abstract

This paper examines, theoretically and empirically, the determinants of collective success in the maintenance of infrastructure projects. The empirical analysis employs primary data collected by the author on 132 community-maintained infrastructure projects in Northern Pakistan. Determinants are grouped into community-specific and project-specific factors, the latter identified using community fixed effects. The analysis shows that community-specific factors are important: Socially heterogeneous communities have poorly maintained projects and community inequality has a U-shaped relationship with maintenance. Project leaders are associated with higher maintenance, with attributes of hereditary leader households used as instruments for leader presence. However, the results suggest that the effects of project-specific factors are even larger. Specifically, complex projects are poorly maintained and inequality in project returns has a Ushaped relationship with maintenance. Increased community participation in project decisions has a positive effect on maintenance for non-technical decisions but a negative effect for technical decisions. Projects initiated by non-governmental organizations are better maintained than local government projects, as are projects made as extensions of old projects rather than anew. The findings are consistent with the theory and suggest that adverse community-specific factors, such as a lack of social capital, can be more than compensated for by better project design.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp01-043.

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Date of creation: Nov 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp01-043

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  1. 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.
  2. Jeff Dayton-Johnson and Pranab Bardhan., 1996. "Inequality and Conservation on the Local Commons: A Theoretical Exercise," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C96-071, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
  4. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff, 2000. "Choosing rules to govern the commons: a model with evidence from Mexico," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 19-41, May.
  5. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2000. "Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?," NBER Working Papers 7793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Deininger, Klaus & Olinto, Pedro, 2000. "Asset distribution, inequality, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2375, The World Bank.
  7. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2000. "Halting Degradation of Natural Resources: Is There a Role for Rural Communities?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290612.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Nkonya, Ephraim & Phillip, Dayo & Mogues, Tewodaj & Pender, John & Kato, Edward, 2012. "Impacts of Community-driven Development Programs on Income and Asset Acquisition in Africa: The Case of Nigeria," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1824-1838.
  3. Siva Athreya & Rohini Somanathan, 2006. "Quantifying Spatial Misallocation In Centrally Provided Public Goods," Working papers 148, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  4. Nkonya, Ephraim & Phillip, Dayo & Mogues, Tewodaj & Pender, John & Yahaya, Muhammed Kuta & Adebowale, Gbenga & Arokoyo, Tunji & Kato, Edward, 2008. "From the ground up: Impacts of a pro-poor community-driven development project in Nigeria," IFPRI discussion papers 756, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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