Does Elite Capture Matter? Local Elites and Targeted Welfare Programs in Indonesia
AbstractThis paper investigates the impact of elite capture on the allocation of targeted government welfare programs in Indonesia, using both a high-stakes field experiment that varied the extent of elite influence and non-experimental data on a variety of existing government transfer programs. Conditional on their consumption level, there is little evidence that village elites and their relatives are more likely to receive aid programs than non-elites. Looking more closely, however, we find that this overall result masks a difference between different types of elites: those holding formal leadership positions are more likely to receive benefits, while informal leaders are actually less likely to. We show that capture by formal elites occurs during the distribution of benefits under the programs, and not during the processes when the beneficiary lists are determined by the central government. However, while elite capture exists, the welfare losses it creates appear quite small: since formal elites and their relatives are only 9 percent richer than non-elites, are at most about 8 percentage points more likely to receive benefits than non-elites, and represent at most 15 percent of the population, eliminating elite capture entirely would improve the welfare gains from these programs by less than one percent.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp13-008.
Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Other versions of this item:
- Vivi Alatas & Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Benjamin A. Olken & Ririn Purnamasari & Matthew Wai-Poi, 2013. "Does Elite Capture Matter? Local Elites and Targeted Welfare Programs in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 18798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-06-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2013-06-16 (Development)
- NEP-SEA-2013-06-16 (South East Asia)
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- Desai, Raj M. & Joshi, Shareen, 2013. "Collective action and community development : evidence from self-help groups in rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6547, The World Bank.
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