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Do elected councils improve governance ? experimental evidence on local institutions in Afghanistan

Author

Listed:
  • Beath, Andrew
  • Christia, Fotini
  • Enikolopov, Ruben

Abstract

Using data from a field experiment in 500 villages, this paper studies how local institutions affect the quality of governance, as measured by aid distribution outcomes. In villages where elected councils exist and manage distributions, aid targeting improves. However, if the distribution is not clearly assigned to either the council or customary leaders, the creation of elected councils increases embezzlement and makes decision-making less inclusive. Requiring that women manage the distribution jointly with customary leaders also increases embezzlement. Thus, while elected councils can improve governance, overlapping mandates between new and existing institutions may result in increased rent-seeking.

Suggested Citation

  • Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2013. "Do elected councils improve governance ? experimental evidence on local institutions in Afghanistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6510, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6510
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. King, Elisabeth & Samii, Cyrus, 2014. "Fast-Track Institution Building in Conflict-Affected Countries? Insights from Recent Field Experiments," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 740-754.
    2. Abbie Turiansky, "undated". "Collective Action in Games as in Life: Experimental Evidence from Canal Cleaning in Haiti," Mathematica Policy Research Reports b4f3a3ef599b43c6a875d9380, Mathematica Policy Research.
    3. Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Georgy Egorov & Ruben Enikolopov, 2016. "Electoral Rules and Political Selection: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 932-968.
    4. L. Kempen, 2014. "Mansuri, Ghazala and Rao, Vijayendra: Localizing development. Does participation work?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 201-205, June.
    5. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2013. "The National Solidarity Programme: Assessing the Effects of Community-Driven Development in Afghanistan," WIDER Working Paper Series 112, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Georgy Egorov & Ruben Enikolopov, 2014. "Electoral Rules and the Quality of Politicians: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," NBER Working Papers 20082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Accountability; Governance Indicators; National Governance; Housing&Human Habitats; Peri-Urban Communities;

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