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Do elected councils improve governance ? experimental evidence on local institutions in Afghanistan

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  • Beath, Andrew
  • Christia, Fotini
  • Enikolopov, Ruben

Abstract

Using data from a field experiment in 500 villages, this paper studies how local institutions affect the quality of governance, as measured by aid distribution outcomes. In villages where elected councils exist and manage distributions, aid targeting improves. However, if the distribution is not clearly assigned to either the council or customary leaders, the creation of elected councils increases embezzlement and makes decision-making less inclusive. Requiring that women manage the distribution jointly with customary leaders also increases embezzlement. Thus, while elected councils can improve governance, overlapping mandates between new and existing institutions may result in increased rent-seeking.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6510.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6510

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Keywords: Social Accountability; Governance Indicators; National Governance; Housing&Human Habitats; Peri-Urban Communities;

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References

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  16. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2012. "Empowering women : evidence from a field experiment in Afghanistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6269, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Georgy Egorov & Ruben Enikolopov, 2014. "Electoral Rules and the Quality of Politicians: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," NBER Working Papers 20082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2013. "The National Solidarity Programme: Assessing the effects of community-driven development in Afghanistan," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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