NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Michael J. Callen

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Working Papers and Chapters

December 2014What are the Headwaters of Formal Savings? Experimental Evidence from Sri Lanka
with Suresh De Mel, Craig McIntosh, Christopher Woodruff: w20736
When households increase their deposits in formal bank savings accounts, what is the source of the money? We combine high-frequency surveys with an experiment in which a Sri Lankan bank used mobile Point-of-Service (POS) terminals to collect deposits directly from households each week. In this context, the headwaters of formal savings are to be found in sacrificed leisure time: households work more, and work more on the wage market when savings options improve. These results suggest that the labor allocation channel is an important mechanism linking savings opportunities to income.
May 2014A Revealed Preference Approach to the Elicitation of Political Attitudes: Experimental Evidence on Anti-Americanism in Pakistan
with Leonardo Bursztyn, Bruno Ferman, Ali Hasanain, Noam Yuchtman: w20153
We develop an indirect, revealed preference method of eliciting attitudes and apply it in an experiment in Pakistan designed to understand the expression of anti-American views. Following the completion of a personality survey, we offer subjects a bonus payment for completing the survey. We find that around one-quarter of subjects forgo a 100 Rupee payment (roughly one-fifth of a day's wage) to avoid anonymously checking a box indicating gratitude toward the United States government for providing funds. We experimentally vary the identity of the funder, the payment size, and subjects' expectations of privacy, and find that rejection of the payment is responsive to all of these treatments. Rejection of the U.S. government bonus payment is an indirect measure of anti-American attitudes. This...
March 2014Election Fairness and Government Legitimacy in Afghanistan
with Eli Berman, Clark Gibson, James D. Long: w19949
International development agencies invest heavily in institution building in fragile states, including expensive interventions to support democratic elections. Yet little evidence exists on whether elections enhance the domestic legitimacy of governments. Using the random assignment of an innovative election fraud-reducing intervention in Afghanistan, we find that decreasing electoral misconduct improves multiple survey measures of attitudes toward government, including: (1) whether Afghanistan is a democracy; (2) whether the police should resolve disputes; (3) whether members of parliament provide services; and (4) willingness to report insurgent behavior to security forces.
November 2009Do Working Men Rebel? Insurgency and Unemployment in Iraq and the Philippines
with Eli Berman, Joseph H. Felter, Jacob N. Shapiro: w15547
Most aid spending by governments seeking to rebuild social and political order is based on an opportunity-cost theory of distracting potential recruits. The logic is that gainfully employed young men are less likely to participate in political violence, implying a positive correlation between unemployment and violence in locations with active insurgencies. We test that prediction in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Philippines, using survey data on unemployment and two newly-available measures of insurgency: (1) attacks against government and allied forces; and (2) violence that kills civilians. Contrary to the opportunity-cost theory, the data emphatically reject a positive correlation between unemployment and attacks against government and allied forces (p<.05%). There is no significant relatio...

Published: “Do Working Men Rebel? Unemployment and Insurgency in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Philippines.” (with Jacob Shapiro, Joseph Felter and Michael Callen), Journal of Conflict Resolution , August 2011 vol. 55 no. 4 496-528.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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