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Can Institutions be Reformed from Within? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment with the Rajasthan Police

Author

Listed:
  • Abhijit Banerjee
  • Raghabendra Chattopadhyay
  • Esther Duflo
  • Daniel Keniston
  • Nina Singh

Abstract

Institutions in developing countries, particularly those inherited from the colonial period, are often thought to be subject to strong inertia. This study presents the results of a unique randomized trial testing whether these institutions can be reformed through incremental administrative change. The police department of the state of Rajasthan, India collaborated with researchers at US and Indian universities to design and implement four interventions to improve police performance and the public’s perception of the police in 162 police stations (covering over one-fifth of the State’s police stations and personnel): (1) placing community observers in police stations; (2) a freeze on transfers of police staff; (3) in-service training to update skills; and (4) weekly duty rotation with a guaranteed day off per week. These reforms were evaluated using data collected through two rounds of surveys including police interviews, decoy visits to police stations, and a large-scale public opinion and crime victimization survey—the first of its kind in India. [BREAD Working Paper No. 324]. URL:[http://ipl.econ.duke.edu/bread/papers/working/324.pdf].

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  • Abhijit Banerjee & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo & Daniel Keniston & Nina Singh, 2012. "Can Institutions be Reformed from Within? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment with the Rajasthan Police," Working Papers id:4813, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:4813
    Note: Institutional Papers
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    Cited by:

    1. Asim,Salman & Chase,Robert S. & Dar,Amit & Schmillen,Achim Daniel, 2015. "Improving education outcomes in South Asia : findings from a decade of impact evaluations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7362, The World Bank.
    2. Sarah Baird & Aislinn Bohren & Berk Ozler & Craig McIntosh, 2014. "Designing Experiments to Measure Spillover Effects," Working Papers 2014-11, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    3. Gisselquist, Rachel & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2013. "What can experiments tell us about how to improve governance?," MPRA Paper 49300, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Andrews, Matt & Pritchett, Lant & Woolcock, Michael, 2017. "Building State Capability: Evidence, Analysis, Action," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198747482.
    5. Lant Pritchett & Salimah Samji & Jeffrey S. Hammer, 2012. "It's All about MeE: Using Structured Experiential Learning ('e') to Crawl the Design Space," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2012-104, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Alexander Libman, 2012. "Learning to Be Different: Quantitative Research in Economics and Political Science," Rationality, Markets and Morals, Frankfurt School Verlag, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, vol. 3(62), December.
    7. Giovanna d'Adda & Guido Blasio, 2017. "Historical Legacy And Policy Effectiveness: The Long-Term Influence Of Preunification Borders In Italy," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 319-341, March.
    8. Juan Felipe García & Daniel Mejia & Daniel Ortega, 2013. "Police Reform, Training and Crime: Experimental evidence from Colombia´s Plan Cuadrantes," Documentos CEDE 010497, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    9. Francis J. DiTraglia & Camilo Garcia-Jimeno & Rossa O'Keeffe-O'Donovan & Alejandro Sanchez-Becerra, 2020. "Identifying Causal Effects in Experiments with Spillovers and Non-compliance," Papers 2011.07051, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2021.
    10. de Janvry, Alain & He, Guojun & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Wang, Shaoda & Zhang, Qiong, 2020. "Performance Evaluation, Influence Activities, and Bureaucratic Work Behavior: Evidence from China," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt30z1q8nw, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    11. Sarah Baird & Aislinn Bohren & Craig McIntosh & Berk Ozler, 2015. "Designing Experiments to Measure Spillover Effects, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 15-021, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Jun 2015.
    12. Gisselquist, Rachel & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2013. "What can experiments tell us about how to improve governance?," MPRA Paper 49300, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Luis Sandoval Garrido & Margarita Marin Jaramillo, 2017. "The effect of a police sectoral communication network on crime rates in Bogotá, Colombia," Revista Ecos de Economía, Universidad EAFIT, vol. 21(45), pages 5-25, December.
    14. Valsecchi, Michele, 2016. "Corrupt Bureaucrats: The Response of Non-Elected Officials to Electoral Accountability," Working Papers in Economics 684, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    15. Lant Pritchett & Salimah Samji & Jeffrey Hammer, 2012. "It’s All About MeE: Using Structured Experiential Learning (‘e’) to Crawl the Design Space," CID Working Papers 249, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    16. Esther Duflo, 2017. "Richard T. Ely Lecture: The Economist as Plumber," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 1-26, May.
    17. Alain de Janvry & Guojun He & Elisabeth Sadoulet & Shaoda Wang & Qiong Zhang, 2019. "Influence Activities and Bureaucratic Performance: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment in China," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2019-69, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Sep 2019.
    18. Matthew J. Nanes, 2020. "Policing in divided societies: Officer inclusion, citizen cooperation, and crime prevention," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 37(5), pages 580-604, September.
    19. Lindsey Carson & Mariana Mota Prado, 2014. "Mapping Corruption and its Institutional Determinants in Brazil," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series iriba_wp08, GDI, The University of Manchester.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Indian states; Police; archetypal sclerotic institution; ex-Soviet states; South Africa; India; Malaysia; colonial power; Police Act; population; victim satisfaction; Rajasthan; institutions; colonial era;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis

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