Katherine A. Casey

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Institutions are believed to be key determinants of economic performance, yet there is limited evidence on how they 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” a few novel treatment(More)
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)
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 post-war Sierra Leone using a(More)
Candidate debates have a rich history, offer a unique communication forum, and have become integral to contemporary campaign strategy. There is, however, no definitive evidence of whether they affect actual voting behavior. The relative scarcity of political information in the developing world offers an attractive testing ground, where the effects of(More)
Many lament that weak accountability and poor governance impede economic development in Africa. Politicians rely on ethnic allegiances that deliver the vote irrespective of performance, dampening electoral incentives. Giving voters information about candidate competence counters ethnic loyalty and strengthens accountability. I extend a canonical electoral(More)
Institutional performance is thought to be a key determinant of economic success, however there is little evidence on how best to reform existing institutions. Foreign aid donors spend substantial resources on ―community driven development‖ programs that combine the provision of public goods with intensive long term facilitation designed to strengthen local(More)
Constant shadow prices indicate that gains in expected votes with respect to marginal shifts in transfers should be equal across jurisdictions. The ratio of the scalars (λ/μ) holds constant, while exhausting the budget, only if each party promises the same amount to any given jurisdiction (taj = tbj = Yj ∀ j). Voter consumption is thus identical under(More)
• 40 polling centers were assigned to receive designed information, with 5 different interventions: individuals were shown the same debate as in other polling centers; individuals were shown a ‘getting to know you’ video of candidates; individuals listened to a radio recording of a journalist summarizing candidates policy positions; individuals participated(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)