Policy Insights in Political Economy and Governance
J-PAL’s Political Economy and Governance sector seeks to improve governance and service delivery in developing countries. Our policy insights below summarize the general lessons emerging from randomized evaluations on the impact of gender quotas on women’s political representation and service delivery; the use of audits to increase political accountability and reduce misuse of public resources; and, the electoral impact of providing voters with information on candidates’ qualifications, policy positions, and performance in office.
— Frederico Finan (University of California, Berkeley) and Rohini Pande (Yale University), Political Economy and Governance Co-Chairs
Improving tax compliance through reminder messages for taxpayers
Last updated: July 2022
Sending tax reminder messages to taxpayers is a cost-effective strategy to increase short-term tax compliance. Governments looking to improve tax compliance should invest in sending simple deterrence-framed messages to taxpayers.
Improving health worker performance through pay-for-performance programs
Last updated: July 2022
Pay-for-performance incentive programs for health care workers reward providers based on measurable performance indicators. Providing performance-based pay in addition to base pay can help to improve health provider performance on well-chosen targeted indicators relative to providing only base pay.
Increasing accountability and reducing corruption through government audits
Last updated: August 2020
Government audits have often increased political accountability, reduced misuse of public resources, and improved compliance with laws and regulations. In lower- and middle-income countries, audits have been more effective when the government had a stronger capacity to enforce punishments, when...
The risks and rewards of voter information campaigns in low- and middle-income countries
Last updated: March 2019
Providing information on candidates’ qualifications, policy positions, and performance in office can affect voter turnout and who people vote for. In lower-income countries, this type of information has been most effective when it was widely disseminated from a credible source.
Improving women’s representation in politics through gender quotas
Last updated: April 2018
Gender quotas for women in local government bodies can improve women’s representation in politics, increase provision of public services, and improve perceptions of women as leaders.