Participatory Development and Social Preferences: Experimental Evidence from Bangaldesh
Since the 1990s, Community Driven Development (CDD) has become an increasingly common approach for development assistance. This has led the academic literature to assess the extent to which CDD programs can affect social norms and behaviors in benefiting communities. One fundamental challenge in this evaluation consists in the difficulties of observing and measuring social preferences. An increasing number of studies rely on lab-in-the-field experiments in order to test whether participatory development enhances participation, trust and social values in receiving communities. The existing evidence is mixed, calling for further research on this topic, which has relevant policy implications on the potential long run impact of participatory governance. We will contribute to this debate by providing novel evidence on the impact of a CDD program on two dimensions which, to the best of our knowledge, have not been previously addressed by the existing studies: (i) fairness norms on equity and equality of redistribution; (ii) citizens' preferences over participatory decision-making.