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The Returns from Reducing Corruption: Evidence from Education in Uganda

  • Reinikka, Ritva
  • Svensson, Jakob

What is the most effective way to increase primary school enrolment and student learning? We argue that innovations in governance of social services may yield the highest return since social service delivery in developing countries is often plagued by inefficiencies and corruption. We examine this hypothesis by exploiting an unusual policy experiment: A newspaper campaign in Uganda aimed at reducing capture of public funds by providing schools (parents) with information to monitor local officials' handling of a large education grant program. Combining survey and administrative data, we show that the campaign was successful, and the reduction in capture of funds had a positive effect on enrolment and student learning.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6363.

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Date of creation: Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6363
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  1. Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 11753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Elizabeth King & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Joshua Angrist & Michael Kremer, 2002. "Vouchers for private schooling in colombia: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00203, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Paul Glewwe, 2002. "Schools and Skills in Developing Countries: Education Policies and Socioeconomic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 436-482, June.
  4. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  5. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Svensson, Jakob, 2002. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Seminar Papers 713, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  8. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Enrico Moretti, 2006. "Did Iraq Cheat the United Nations? Underpricing, Bribes, and the Oil for Food Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1211-1248, November.
  9. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2004. "Local Capture: Evidence From a Central Government Transfer Program in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 678-704, May.
  10. Di Tella, Rafael & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2003. "The Role of Wages and Auditing during a Crackdown on Corruption in the City of Buenos Aires," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(1), pages 269-92, April.
  11. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
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