Information Systems, Service Delivery, and Corruption: Evidence from the Bangladesh Civil Service
92 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2021 Last revised: 10 Nov 2023
Date Written: November 3, 2023
Slow public service delivery and corruption are common problems in low- and middle-income countries. Can better management information systems improve delivery speed? Does improving the delivery speed reduce corruption? In a large-scale experiment with the Bangladesh Civil Service, I send monthly scorecards measuring delays in service delivery to government officials and their supervisors. The scorecards increase on-time service delivery by 11% but do not reduce bribes. Instead, the scorecards increase bribes for high-performing bureaucrats. A model where bureaucrats' reputational concerns constrain bribes can explain the results. When positive performance feedback improves bureaucrats' reputations, the constraint is relaxed, and bribes increase.
JEL Classification: D02, D73, H83, O10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation