New York University
Department of Politics
19 West 4th St. 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
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
This paper presents evidence that one cause of absenteeism in the public sector is that government jobs are handed out as patronage. First, politicians routinely interfere when bureaucrats sanction absent doctors, and doctors are more absent in uncompetitive constituencies and when connected to politicians. Next, we find that the effects of two experimental interventions to address absence are attenuated in uncompetitive constituencies and for connected doctors. The first is a smartphone monitoring technology that nearly doubles inspection rates, and the second, representing the first experiment on the effects of providing data to policymakers, channels real time information on doctor absence.
|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 personality traits of policy actors matter for policy outcomes in the context of two large-scale experiments in Punjab, Pakistan. Three results support the relevance of personalities for policy outcomes. 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 personality measures exhibit a larger treatment response to increased monitoring. Last, senior health officials with higher Big Five scores are more likely to respond to a report of an underperforming facility by compelling better subsequent staff attendance.
|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.