Political Accountability, Fiscal Conditions, and Local Government Performance â€“ Cross-Sectional Evidence from Indonesia
What makes governments tick? Why are some public institutions more successful than others in managing resources and delivering services? And even more vitally, how can malfunctioning institutions be reformed so that they perform their responsibilities more effectively? This paper contributes to our understanding of theses overarching questions by exploring the interactions between political institutions and public sector performance in the context of decentralization and local governance. It shows -both theoretically and empirically- that performance outcomes are determined by the extent to which people can hold their governments accountable through political institutions. The basic hypothesis underlying this research is that political accountability, either by encouraging sanctions upon non-compliant public agents or simply by reducing the informational gap regarding government activities, will create forceful incentives for elected officials and civil servants to reduce opportunistic behavior and improve performance. Using a cross-sectional regression the hypothesis is empirically tested against evidence from newly empowered local governments in Indonesia. The empirical findings broadly support our hypotheses. Improved public services on the ground, both in terms of quantity and quality, require informed and well functioning decision making processes that allocate resources to priority areas that meet the demand of the broader community.
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.:
- Mariano Tommasi & Federico Weinschelbaum, 1999.
"A Principal-Agent Building Block for the Study of Decentralization and Integration,"
20, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Nov 1999.
- Mariano Tommasi & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2000. "A Principal-Agent Building Block for the Study of Decentralization and Integration," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0457, Econometric Society.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000.
"The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
2308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 2721, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
- Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
- Seabright, Paul, 1994.
"Accountability and Decentralization in Government: An Incomplete Contracts Model,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Seabright, Paul, 1996. "Accountability and decentralisation in government: An incomplete contracts model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-89, January.
- Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, .
""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy'',"
CARESS Working Papres
95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
- Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 1999.
"Relative Capture of Local and Central Governments: An Essay in the Political Economy of Decentralization,"
Boston University - Institute for Economic Development
97, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2002. "Relative Capture of Local and Central Governments: An Essay in the Political Economy of Decentralization," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9gx7t5hd, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Pranab Bardhan and and Dilip Mookherjee., 1999. "Relative Capture of Local and Central Governments: An Essay in the Political Economy of Decentralization," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C99-109, University of California at Berkeley.
- Wildasin, David E., 1998. "Fiscal aspect of evolving federations : issues for policy and research," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1884, The World Bank.
- repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1163-1202 is not listed on IDEAS
- Lockwood, B., 1998.
"Distributive Politics and the Benefits of Decentralization,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
513, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Lockwood, Ben, 1998. "Distributive Politics and the Benefits of Decentralisation," CSGR Working papers series 10/98, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick.
- Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, .
"Separation of Powers and Political Accountability,"
100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lpf:wpaper:02-2007. 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: (Prof. Jan Wernder)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.