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Title: Essays on The Political Economy of Service Delivery
Authors: Molina, Ezequiel
Advisors: Boix, Carles
Contributors: Public and International Affairs Department
Subjects: Economics
Public policy
Political Science
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation comprises three articles that analyze the theoretical and empirical implications of social accountability reforms. In the first article, I argue that there is a channel, often forgotten in the literature, through which the effect of community monitoring interventions could be diminished. Citizens may refuse to take advantage of the opportunity to monitor the government and service providers if they believe that the chances to succeed are low. In particular, I model this argument formally and find that under certain conditions a case of self-fulfilling prophecy in service delivery can occur. This means that citizen's low expectations on leaders, officials, or service providers' responsiveness may generate low community participation in monitoring the project. This can reduce project visibility, as fewer citizens are able to disseminate information about the program to other citizens. As a result, if participation in monitoring activities and project visibility is low, policymakers and providers have fewer incentives to spend time and effort improving project performance, as their efforts will not be recognized. This reinforces citizens' prior beliefs and generates a vicious circle. The second article makes three contributions to the literature. First, it provides new evidence of the impact of community monitoring interventions using a unique dataset from the Citizen Visible Audit (CVA) program in Colombia. In particular, this article studies the effect of social audits on citizen's assessment of service delivery performance. The second contribution is the introduction a theoretical framework to understand the pathway of change, the necessary building blocks that are needed for social audits to be effective. Using this framework, the third contribution of this article is answering the following questions: (a) under what conditions do citizens decide to monitor government activity and (b) under what conditions do governments facilitate citizen engagement and become more accountable. For the third article of my dissertation I conducted a synthetic review on community monitoring interventions in low-and-middle income countries. The article assesses under what conditions community monitoring interventions help to improve service delivery.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Public and International Affairs

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