Direct democracy and resource allocation : experimental evidence from Afghanistan
AbstractDirect democracy is designed to better align public resource allocation decisions with citizen preferences. Using a randomized field experiment in 250 villages across Afghanistan, this paper compares outcomes of secret-ballot referenda with those of consultation meetings, which adhere to customary decision-making practices. Elites are found to exert influence over meeting outcomes, but not over referenda outcomes, which are driven primarily by citizen preferences. Referenda are also found to improve public satisfaction, whereas elite domination of allocation processes has a negative effect. The results indicate that the use of direct democracy in public resource allocation results in more legitimate outcomes than those produced by customary processes.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6133.
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Housing&Human Habitats; Social Accountability; Rural Urban Linkages; Peri-Urban Communities; Parliamentary Government;
Other versions of this item:
- Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Ruben Enikolopov, 2013. "Direct Democracy and Resource Allocation: Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan," Working Papers w0192, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2012-07-29 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-POL-2012-07-29 (Positive Political Economics)
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