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T here is growing appreciation for the advantages of experimentation in the social sciences. Policy-relevant claims that in the past were backed by theoretical arguments and inconclusive correlations are now being investigated using more credible methods. Changes have been particularly pronounced in development economics, where hundreds of randomized trials(More)
Despite their importance, there is limited evidence on how institutions can be strengthened. Evaluating the effects of specific reforms is complicated by the lack of exogenous variation in institutions, the difficulty of measuring institutional performance, and the temptation to ‘‘cherry pick’’ estimates from among the large number of indicators required to(More)
Although institutions are believed to be key determinants of economic performance, there is limited evidence on how they can be successfully reformed. The most popular strategy to improve local institutions in developing countries is " community driven development " (CDD). This paper estimates the impact of a CDD program in postwar Sierra Leone using a(More)
Why do foreign investments that can improve economic welfare also induce protest? Using newly compiled data on commercial mining, commodity prices, and protest in Africa, I establish that foreign mining investments double the probability of protest. I argue that communities have to strike a bargain with companies but have limited information about the value(More)
the experimental lunch seminar at the University of Chicago, the UNC-Duke working group on Latin American politics and Redistribution, Public Goods and Political Market Failures at Yale. We acknowledge partial funding from the Inter-American Development Bank. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the(More)
Voting is fundamentally a forecasting problem: voters try to predict future performance in office based on incomplete information about candidates. Forecast inputs combine observable professional qualifications with more subjective assessments of confidence and trustworthiness. In developing countries, the amount of information available can be quite(More)
Candidate debates have a rich history, o¤er a unique communication forum, and have become integral to contemporary campaign strategy. There is, however, no de…nitive evidence of whether they a¤ect actual voting behavior. The relative scarcity of political information in the developing world o¤ers an attractive testing ground, where the e¤ects of debates(More)