Showing all content in State

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    Data: Property tax experiment in Punjab, Pakistan: Testing the role of wages, incentives and audit on tax inspectors’ behaviour

    Performance pay for tax collectors has the potential to raise revenues, but might come at a cost if taxpayers face undue pressure from collectors. We report the first large-scale field experiment on these issues, where we experimentally allocated 482 property tax units in Punjab, Pakistan into one of three performance-pay schemes or a control. After two years, incentivized...

    1 Mar 2019

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    Data: Clientelism and state capacity: persistence and change in Sierra Leone and Colombia

    We use the colonial organization of chieftaincy in Sierra Leone to study the e↵ect of constraints on chiefs’ power on economic outcomes, citizens’ attitudes and social capital. A paramount chief must come from one of the ruling families originally recognized by British colonial authorities. Chiefs face fewer constraints and less political competition in chiefdoms with...

    1 Mar 2019

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    Data: Encouraging seasonal migration to mitigate the consequences of a seasonal famine in rural Bangladesh

    Hunger during pre-harvest lean seasons is widespread in the agrarian areas of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. We randomly assign an $8.50 incentive to households in rural Bangladesh to out-migrate during the lean season. The incentive induces 22% of households to send a seasonal migrant, their consumption at the origin increases significantly, and treated households are 8-10...

    1 Mar 2019

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    Data: Spatial development and local technology

    We present a theory of spatial development. Manufacturing and services frms located in a continuous geographic area choose each period how much to innovate. Firms trade subject to transport costs and technology diffuses spatially. We apply the model to study the evolution of the US economy in the last half-century and fnd that it can generate the reduction in the...

    28 Feb 2019

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    Data: Understanding fiscal capacity in developing economies: Firms as third-party tax enforcers

    This paper presents a simple agency model to explain why third-party income reporting by employers dramatically improves income tax enforcement. Modern firms have a large number of employees and carry out complex production tasks, which requires the use of accurate business records. Because such records are widely used within the firm, any single employee can denounce...

    28 Feb 2019

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    Data: The Political economy of sovereign debt overhang

    We propose a tractable variant of the open economy neoclassical growth model that emphasizes political economy and contracting frictions. The political economy frictions involve a preference for immediate spending, while the contracting friction is a lack of commitment regarding foreign debt and expropriation. We show that the political economy frictions slow an economy’s...

    28 Feb 2019

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    Data: Multinationals and growth in developing countries

    We argue that social capital as proxied by trust increases aggregate productivity by affecting the organization of firms. To do this we collect new data on the decentralization of investment, hiring, production, and sales decisions from Corporate Headquarters to local plant managers in almost 4,000 firms in the United States, Europe, and Asia. We find that firms...

    28 Feb 2019

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    Data: Managing bureaucracy to improve public service delivery

    We study how the management practices under which public sector bureaucrats operate, correlate to the quantity and quality of public services delivered. We do so in a developing country context, exploiting data from the Nigerian Civil Service linking public sector organizations to the individual projects they are responsible for. For each of 4700 projects, we have hand...

    28 Feb 2019

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    Data: Counteracting illicit behaviour during elections: The role of observers and cell phones in a field experiment

    African elections often reveal low levels of political accountability. We assess different forms of voter education during an election in Mozambique. Three interventions providing information to voters and calling for their electoral participation were randomized: an SMS-based information campaign, an SMS hotline for electoral misconduct, and the distribution of a free...

    28 Feb 2019

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    Data: Variation in infrastructure delivery and management quality among Ghana’s local governments

    Many infrastructure projects in developing countries are started but never finished. Despite the vast resources invested in infrastructure and the obvious inefficiency of abandoning projects mid-construction, there is little research on this problem. I have collected, digitized, and coded administrative records of over 14,000 local government infrastructure projects in...

    27 Feb 2019