Political Economy & Governance

J-PAL’s Political Economy & Governance sector evaluates policies to improve governance and service delivery through research on issues like political participation, corruption and leakages, and state capacity.

J-PAL's Political Economy & Governance Sector (PEG) aims to provide rigorous evidence on the causes and consequences of poor governance and identify how policy responses can improve governance outcomes. Governments around the world provide their citizens with basic services ranging from policing to health care and education. However, poor governance often compromises the effectiveness of these services. Improving service delivery requires understanding the nature of citizen participation in politics, the role of government institutions that set priorities and create policies, and the factors that influence the effectiveness of policy implementation.

J-PAL affiliates' research in PEG explores critical questions in governance, including how to increase political participation, how to make politicians more accountable to citizens, how to make government officials more effective at delivering services and executing policies without leakages or corruption, and how to use incentives, monitoring, and recruitment to improve state capacity.

The Governance Initiative seeks to improve participation in the political and policy process, reduce leakages in public programs, and increase state capacity. J-PAL affiliates and other selected researchers are invited to submit full research projects, pilot studies, and travel/proposal development grants by 5pm ET Friday, March 4, 2016. 

Publication

Governance Initiative Review Paper

The Governance Review Paper summarizes empirically rigorous academic literature on political economy and governance issues in low-income countries and identifies gaps in the literature which...

Publication

Paying for Performance

Performance pay for tax officials in Punjab, Pakistan significantly increased tax revenues without harming taxpayer satisfaction.

Arvind Subramanian, India’s Chief Economic Adviser

News

Delhi conference focuses on innovations in public sector management

On January 7-8, close to a hundred participants attended J-PAL’s conference “Innovations in Public Sector Management: Evidence on Social Protection Programs” in Delhi, India.

Lesson

Community Participation: Power to the people?

While increased community participation has been advocated as a way to improve the quality of public projects and services, evidence from randomized evaluations provides very mixed results about its...

affiliate

Oriana Bandiera

Oriana Bandiera specializes in the design of field experiments to evaluate how individual behavior is shaped by monetary incentives and social relationships.

Evaluation

Voting and Habit Formation in the United States

Using a randomized evaluation, researchers found that face-to-face canvassing and direct mail appeals significantly increased voter turnout not only during the election year but also in the election...

Publication

Community Grants for the Next Generation

Community block grants improved health and education in Indonesian villages, and adding performance incentives sped up improvements in health.

Ration card office

Publication

The Personnel Economics of the State

This paper reviews a nascent but growing body of field experiments that explores the personnel economics of the state. In most countries throughout the world, public sector employees enjoy a...

Sector Chairs

Benjamin Olken

Co-Chair

Rohini Pande

Co-Chair

Sector Contacts