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Voice Lessons:Local Government Organizations, Social Organizations, and the Quality of Local Governance

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  • Lant Pritchett

Abstract

As part the Local Level Institutions study of local life in villages in rural Indonesia information was gathered on sampled household’s participation in social activities. We classified the reported activities into four distinct types of social activity: sociability, networks, social organizations, and village government organizations. Respondents were also asked about questions about their village government: whether they were informed about village funds and projects, if they participated in village decisions, if they expressed voice about village problems, and if they thought the village government was responsive to local problems. Several findings emerge regarding the relationship between the social variables and the governance activities. Not surprisingly, an individual household’s involvement with the village government organizations tends to increase their own reports of positive voice, participation, and information. In contrast, the data suggest a negative spillover on other households. There is a strong “chilling†effect of one household’s participation in village government organizations on the voice, participation, and information of other households in the same village. The net effect of engagement in village government organizations is generally negative, while the net effect of membership in social organizations is more often associated with good governance outcomes. These findings indicate that existing social organizations have a potentially important role to play in enhancing the performance of government institutions in Indonesia and in the evolution of good governance more generally.

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:15.

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Date of creation: Mar 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:15

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Keywords: Voice Lessons:Local Government Organizations; Soci;

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "The Economic Approach to Social Capital," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 1916, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Woolcock, Michael & Narayan, Deepa, 2000. "Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research, and Policy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 225-49, August.
  4. Pritchett, Lant & Woolcock, Michael, 2004. "Solutions When the Solution is the Problem: Arraying the Disarray in Development," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 191-212, February.
  5. Fox, Jonathan, 1996. "How does civil society thicken? the political construction of social capital in rural Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1089-1103, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Benjamin A. Olken, 2006. "Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages," NBER Working Papers 12561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Wetterberg, Anna, 2007. "Crisis, Connections, and Class: How Social Ties Affect Household Welfare," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 585-606, April.
  3. Gibson, Christopher & Woolcock, Michael, 2005. "Empowerment and local level conflict mediation in Indonesia : a comparative analysis of concepts, measures, and project efficacy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3713, The World Bank.

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