Political Economy & Governance
J-PAL’s Political Economy & Governance sector works to identify policies and programs that improve service delivery and make governments more responsive to citizens’ needs. Research and policy outreach focuses on increasing citizens’ political participation, reducing corruption and leakages, and building state capacity to deliver services.
Governments around the world spend billions of dollars every year to provide citizens with basic services. But the effectiveness of public spending can be compromised by policies that do not reflect the needs or wishes of citizens, losses and inefficiencies due to corruption, limited oversight of public spending, and poor performance of civil servants.
J-PAL affiliates' research in this sector includes studies on how to increase political participation and hold politicians more accountable to citizens, how to reduce corruption in service delivery, and how to use recruitment, monitoring, and incentives to improve government performance.
In addition to supporting policymakers in applying evidence from randomized evaluations to their work, J-PAL’s Political Economy and Governance sector chairs and staff write policy insights that synthesize general lessons emerging from the research, condense results from evaluations in policy publications and evaluation summaries, and fund new research through the Governance Initiative to answer critical policy-relevant questions. See all evaluations in the Political Economy & Governance sector.
A study by J-PAL affiliates on Pakistan’s civil servants showed that incentivizing officers with a posting of their own choice remarkably improved their performance.
Research by J-PAL affiliates Esther Duflo, Michael Greenstone, Rohini Pande, and Nicholas Ryan has shown that making environmental auditors more independent improved the accuracy of pollution audit...
J-PAL South Asia staff Sohini Mookherjee and Arindam Banerjee discuss evidence from J-PAL affiliates which found that women leaders positively impact policy decisions and rise aspirations among...
Researchers conducted a randomized evaluation to test the impact of an all-expense-paid three-day leadership training workshop on incentivizing honest and competent youth to run for a village youth...
Central and State governments in India have adopted a financial reform to enhance public service delivery informed by evidence.
J-PAL's Government Partnership Initiative helps governments evaluate policies, scale up successful ones, and build an internal culture of evidence-informed decision making.
While political debates are often considered an integral part of campaigns, little evidence exists on the impact of debates on voters and candidates. In Sierra Leone, researchers evaluated the effect...