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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2016||The Political Economy of Public Sector Absence: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan|
with Michael Callen, Syed Ali Hasanain, Yasir Khan: w22340
Public sector absenteeism undermines service delivery in many developing countries. We report results from an at-scale randomized control evaluation in Punjab, Pakistan of a reform designed to address this problem. The reform affects healthcare for 100 million citizens across 297 political constituencies. It equips government inspectors with a smartphone monitoring system and leads to a 76% increase in inspections. However, the surge in inspections does not always translate into increased doctor attendance. The scale of the experiment permits an investigation into the mechanisms underlying this result. We find that experimentally increasing the salience of doctor absence when communicating inspection reports to senior policymakers improves subsequent doctor attendance. Next, we find that b...
|May 2015||Personalities and Public Sector Performance: Evidence from a Health Experiment in Pakistan|
with Michael Callen, Ali Hasanain, Yasir Khan, Arman Rezaee: w21180
This paper provides evidence that the personalities of policymakers matter for policy. Three results support the relevance of personalities for policy. First, doctors with higher Big Five and Perry Public Sector Motivation scores attend work more and falsify inspection reports less. Second, health inspectors who score higher on these measures exhibit larger treatment responses to increased monitoring. Last, senior health officials with higher personality scores respond more to data on staff absence by compelling better subsequent attendance. These results suggest that interpersonal differences matter are consequential for state performance.
|May 2014||Identifying Ideology: Experimental Evidence on Anti-Americanism in Pakistan|
with Leonardo Bursztyn, Michael Callen, Bruno Ferman, Ali Hasanain, Noam Yuchtman: w20153
Identifying the role of intrinsic, ideological motivation in political behavior is confounded by agents' consequential aims and social concerns. We present results from two experiments that implement a methodology isolating Pakistani men's intrinsic motives for expressing anti-American ideology, in a context with clearly-specified financial costs, but minimal consequential or social considerations. Over one-quarter of subjects forgo around one-fifth of a day's wage to avoid anonymously checking a box indicating gratitude toward the U.S. government, thus revealing anti-Americanism. We find that ideological expression responds to financial and social incentives, and that measured ideology predicts membership in a major anti-American political party.