Do Elected Councils Improve Governance? Experimental Evidence on Local Institutions in Afghanistan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Institute for Political Economy and Governance; Universitat Pompeu Fabra; New Economic School
June 1, 2013
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6510
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: Social Accountability, Governance Indicators, National Governance, Housing & Human Habitats, Peri-Urban Communitiesworking papers series
Date posted: June 27, 2013
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