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Conflict of interest as a barrier to local accountability

Author

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  • Abigail Barr
  • Andrew Zeitlin

Abstract

Using a specially designed lab-type experiment conducted in the field, we compare the willingness of head teachers, centrally appointed public servants, and community representatives to hold Ugandan primary school teachers to account. We find no difference in the willingness of centrally appointed public servants and community representatives. However, head teachers are significantly less willing to punish teachers whose performance falls 20 to 40 percent below a generally accepted benchmark. In addition, head teachers are twice as likely to punish teachers who “over-perform”, a behaviour akin to punishing rate-busters.

Suggested Citation

  • Abigail Barr & Andrew Zeitlin, 2011. "Conflict of interest as a barrier to local accountability," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2011-13
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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/csae-wps-2011-13.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Juan Camilo Cárdenas & Natalia Candelo & Alejandro Gaviria & Sandra Polania, 2007. "Discrimination in the provision of social services to the poor: a field experimental study," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003885, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    2. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
    3. Abigail Barr & Andrew Zeitlin, 2010. "Dictator games in the lab and in nature: External validity tested and investigated in Ugandan primary schools," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    4. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Rukmini Banerji & Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Stuti Khemani, 2010. "Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-30, February.
    5. Francesco Guala, 2002. "On the scope of experiments in economics: comments on Siakantaris," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 261-267, March.
    6. Barr, Abigail & Lindelow, Magnus & Serneels, Pieter, 2009. "Corruption in public service delivery: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 225-239, October.
    7. Menno Pradhan & Daniel Suryadarma & Amanda Beatty & Maisy Wong & Arya Gaduh & Armida Alisjahbana & Rima Prama Artha, 2014. "Improving Educational Quality through Enhancing Community Participation: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment in Indonesia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 105-126, April.
    8. Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 200-249.
    9. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fox, Jonathan A., 2015. "Social Accountability: What Does the Evidence Really Say?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 346-361.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public service; Education; Experiments; Africa; Accountability; Methodology;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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