NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Maarten J. Voors

Development Economics Group
Wageningen University
Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN, Wageningen
The Netherlands

E-Mail: maarten.voors@wur.nl
Institutional Affiliation: Wageningen University & Research

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2020Building Resilient Health Systems: Experimental Evidence from Sierra Leone and the 2014 Ebola Outbreak
with Darin Christensen, Oeindrila Dube, Johannes Haushofer, Bilal Siddiqi: w27364
Underuse of health systems and a lack of confidence in their quality contribute to high rates of mortality in the developing world. How individuals perceive health systems may be especially critical during epidemics, when they choose whether to cooperate with response efforts and frontline health workers. Can improving the perceived quality of healthcare promote community health and ultimately, help to contain epidemics? We leverage a field experiment to answer this question in the context of Sierra Leone and the 2014 West Africa Ebola crisis. Two years before the outbreak, we randomly assigned two accountability interventions to government-run health clinics – one focused on community monitoring and the other conferred non-financial awards to clinic staff. These interventions delivered im...
September 2018Skill versus Voice in Local Development
with Katherine Casey, Rachel Glennerster, Edward Miguel: w25022
Where the state is weak, traditional authorities often control the local provision of land, justice, and public goods. These authorities are criticized for ruling in an undemocratic and unaccountable fashion, and are typically quite old and poorly educated relative to younger cohorts who have benefited from recent schooling expansions. We experimentally evaluate two solutions to these problems in rural Sierra Leone: an expensive long-term intervention to make local institutions more inclusive; and a low-cost test to rapidly identify skilled technocrats and delegate project management to them. In a real-world competition for local infrastructure grants, we find that technocratic selection dominates both the status quo of chiefly control and the institutional reform intervention, leading to ...
 
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