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Community mobilization around social dilemmas: evidence from lab experiments in rural Mali

Author

Listed:
  • Maria Laura Alzua

    (CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia)

  • Juan Camilo Cardenas

    (Universidad de Los Andes)

  • Habiba Djebbari

    (Aix-Marseille University and Laval University)

Abstract

Community mobilization is a key feature of community-based development projects. Community mobilization requires facilitating communication between village members and between leaders and the rest of the community. Is communication an effective device through which mobilization may foster collective action? Does informing the community on how to reach a better social outcome key? Should we expect the effectiveness of community-based programs to depend on the quality of leadership in the community? In rural communities of Mali, we find evidence of high levels of cooperation as measured by a standard public good game. Communication between players increases contributions to the public good. Passing of information through a random community member also improves cooperation, and leadership skills matter. We also find suggestive evidence that changes in behavior are mediated through changes in beliefs. The experiments are embedded in a larger randomized controlled trial designed to evaluate the impact of a community-based sanitation intervention. As such, our results are relevant for a large population. Finally, we find that the program help strengthen the capacity for collective action.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Laura Alzua & Juan Camilo Cardenas & Habiba Djebbari, 2014. "Community mobilization around social dilemmas: evidence from lab experiments in rural Mali," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0160, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  • Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0160
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    File URL: http://www.cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/wp/wp-content/uploads/doc_cedlas160.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Erik Lindqvist, 2012. "Height and Leadership," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 1191-1196, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Laura Alzua & Amy Janel Pickering & Habiba Djebbari & Carolina Lopez & Juan Camilo Cardenas & Maria Adelaida Lopera & Nicolas Osbert & Massa Coulibaly, 2015. "Impact Evaluation of Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in Rural Mali," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0191, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    2. Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2016. "Disentangling Social Capital: Lab-in-the-Field Evidence on Coordination, Networks, and Cooperation," Artefactual Field Experiments 00565, The Field Experiments Website.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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