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Participatory Governance and Public Service Provision
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

How do Community Contribution Requirements Affect Local Public Good Provision? Experimental Evidence from Safe Water Sources in Bangladesh We exploit the random assignment of communities selected to receive a safe drinking water program to various contribution requirements: cash, labor or no requirement to contribute. Imposing a cash contribution requirement greatly decreases program take-up, while imposing a labour contribution does not. Program impact is correspondingly lower under the cash contribution requirement than under the labour contribution requirement or contribution waiver. The cash contribution requirement screens out communities with low arsenic contamination, but screening does not lead to increased treatment effects on the treated. Our results suggest that there are substantial welfare gains to be made in such projects in poor communities by allowing households to contribute in labour rather than cash.

Abstract [en]

Group Size and Collective Action: Evidence from Bangladesh We provide the first causal empirical evidence from a real-world setting of the effect of group size on collective action. Exogenous variation in group size arises from an application of Maimonides' rule, combined with a randomized controlled experiment. We find that when communities are faced with a collective action problem – to cooperate on a program of safe drinking water provision – in larger groups, per capita effort falls. Despite larger groups are more successful in installing safe wells, they achieve smaller increases in the use of safe drinking water, possibly because reduced participation weakens constraints on elite capture.

Abstract [en]

Experience of Inclusive Institutions and the Value of Participation: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh I advance our understanding of institutional development by investigating how citizens value inclusive institutional arrangements and how these values evolve. Results from an incentivized lab-in-the-field experiment show that citizens prefer taking collective decisions by a participatory process. Then, exploiting randomly assigned exposure to inclusive institutions through a Community-Driven Development program, I find that experiencing such institutions changes citizens' values of participatory governance. However, changes in citizens' preferences do not translate into changes in real-world participation behaviors or increased adoption of inclusive institutions.

Abstract [en]

Understanding Institutional Persistence: Exposure to Community-Driven Development and the Value of Autonomy and Democracy We elicit incentivized preferences over different decision-making processes for a safe drinking water program: community's own pre-existing local institutions; decision-making by external agents (project staff); imported democratic and inclusive institutions. We find strong preferences for imported institutions, although influential groups attribute a higher value to local institutions. These results suggest that local institutions do not reflect majority preferences and may be dominated by traditional elites. We then measure whether preferences over alternative decision-making processes differ in communities who have been previously exposed to democratic and inclusive decision-making during a previous safe drinking water program. We interpret these results within a framework of institutional development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Economics, Stockholm University , 2019.
Series
Monograph series / Institute for International Economic Studies, University of Stockholm, ISSN 0346-6892 ; 102
Keywords [en]
Community-Driven Development; Participatory development; Community decision-making; Participation; Safe water; Preferences; Beliefs; Policy design; Impact evaluation; Field experiment; Lab-in-the-field experiment; Randomized Controlled Trial
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169374ISBN: 978-91-7797-781-0 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-782-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169374DiVA, id: diva2:1320021
Public defence
2019-08-23, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-07-31 Created: 2019-06-03 Last updated: 2019-07-24Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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