IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Information technologies and provision of national identificacion cards by the Bolivian Police: Evidence from two randomized natural field experiments

Listed author(s):
  • Alberto Chong

    ()

    (Elliott School of International A airs, George Washington University)

  • Gustavo Machicado Salas

    ()

    (Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD))

  • Monica Yanez-Pagans

    ()

    (Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, The World Bank)

This paper investigates the potential of information technologies to improve public service delivery and empower citizens in the context of two unusual randomized natural experiments occurring within one particular bureaucratic process: the renewal of a national identification card by the Bolivian Police. The first experiment arises from the random assignment of both police officers and applicants to a manual or digital renewal process, which is identical in all aspects except that the digital renewal process makes use of information technologies as part of the renewal process. The second experiment arises by the existence of technical failures within the digital renewal process, which allows police officers to change from the digital to the manual renewal process randomly across renewal day. The efficiency of public service delivery is measured in terms of both renewal success rates (which average to a strikingly low rate of 72 percent in our sample) and time-it-takes to renew an identification card. The causal effect of information technologies on public service delivery is estimated using two different identification strategies. In the first one, applicant-police oficer pairs randomly assigned to each one of these two renewal processes are compared after controlling for renewal day fixed effects. In the second one, applicant-police officer pairs randomly assigned to the digital process are compared to those randomly assigned to this same process but who experienced a technical failure within the process, which allows to directly control for unobserved heterogeneity at the police officer level. We find that information technologies significantly improve the quality of public service delivery. Applicants randomly assigned to the digital renewal process are on average 12 percentage points more likely to complete the renewal process as compared to those randomly assigned to the manual one. Further, successful applicants randomly assigned to the digital process take on average 31 percent less time to complete the process as compared to those randomly assigned to the manual one. Lastly, we find that information technologies significantly lower barriers in access to national identification cards by promoting a more equitable provision across the population. We discuss several channels through which technologies might be improving efficiency and promoting equity within this particular bureaucratic process. Overall, our findings suggest that information technologies might be achieving these goals by introducing efficiencies (such as reducing administrative shortcomings and transaction costs), and limiting the exercise of discretion by police officers within the renewal process.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.inesad.edu.bo/pdf/wp2014/wp02_2014.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for Advanced Development Studies in its series Development Research Working Paper Series with number 02/2014.

as
in new window

Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2014
Handle: RePEc:adv:wpaper:201402
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Av. Hector Ormachea #6115, entre c. 15 y 16, Obrajes, La Paz

Phone: +591-2-2146069
Fax: +591-2-2146069
Web page: http://www.inesad.edu.bo/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Jakob Svensson, 2003. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a Cross Section of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 207-230.
  2. Fisman, Raymond & Svensson, Jakob, 2007. "Are corruption and taxation really harmful to growth? Firm level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 63-75, May.
  3. W. Douglass Shaw, 1992. "Searching for the Opportunity Cost of an Individual's Time," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(1), pages 107-115.
  4. Benjamin A. Olken & Patrick Barron, 2009. "The Simple Economics of Extortion: Evidence from Trucking in Aceh," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 417-452, 06.
  5. Sequeira, Sandra & Djankov, Simeon, 2010. "An Empirical Study of Corruption in Ports," MPRA Paper 21791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:adv:wpaper:201402. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lykke Andersen)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.