Letter Grading Government Efficiency
We mailed letters to non-existent business addresses in 159 countries (10 per country), and measured whether they come back to the return address in the US and how long it takes. About 60% of the letters were returned, taking over 6 months, on average. The results provide new objective indicators of government efficiency across countries, based on a simple and universal service, and allow us to shed light on its determinants. The evidence suggests that both technology and management quality influence the quality of government.
The authors are from University of Ottawa, Tuck Business School at Dartmouth College, EDHEC Business School, and Harvard University, respectively. We are grateful to Nicholas Ciarcia and Thomas Kolasa for substantial help with this project, to Nicholas Bloom, Lawrence Katz, and especially Frederico Finan for helpful comments, and to Kauffman Foundation, EDHEC Business School, and IADB for financial support. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
- [There is] enormous variation in government efficiency as measured by the probability and the time of returning ... [a mis-addressed]...
Alberto Chong & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2014. "Letter Grading Government Efficiency," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 277-299, 04. citation courtesy of