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 (GI) seeks to improve participation in the political and policy process, reduce leakages in public programs, and improve state capacity. GI is now requesting proposals for its fourteenth round of funding. All application materials should be submitted by Friday, March 16. Funding decisions will be announced in mid-May.

Participants attended a leadership training workshop.


Nudging Good Politicians in the Philippines

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...

Three women engage in manual labor


Fund-flow reforms for improved social program delivery in India

Central and State governments in India have adopted a financial reform to enhance public service delivery informed by evidence.

Candidates participating in a filmed debate for the 2012 parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone.


Debates: The Impact of Voter Knowledge Initiatives in Sierra Leone

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...


Community Participation

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...

Man feed ballot into ballot box while volunteers help voters in background


Radio Public Service Announcements and Voter Participation Among Native Americans in the United States

Can media campaigns increase voter turnout among ethnic minorities? Researchers randomly assigned areas covered by Native American radio programming to either receive or not receive targeted radio...

Police training improves public perception and police morale.


Police Skills Training

Training police officers in personality development skills was found to improve victim satisfaction and investigation quality. This evidence has contributed to the scale-up of police skills training...

Sector Chairs

Benjamin Olken


Rohini Pande


Sector Contacts