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How does isolation affect the economic activity of cities? Transport costs are widely considered an important barrier to local economic activity but their impact in developing countries is not well-studied. This paper investigates the role of inter-city transport costs in determining the income of sub-Saharan African cities. In particular, focusing on(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)
This paper explores how the quality of information available to voters in ‡uences the choices they make in the polling booth and in turn a¤ects the strategies of political parties competing for their support. To do so, the paper builds a model of redistributive politics under asymmetric information and then tests the resulting propositions with data from(More)
It is often lamented that poor governance impedes economic development in Africa. One problem is political accountability. Politicians in many African countries rely on tribal allegiances that deliver the vote of co-ethnics irrespective of performance, dampening electoral incentives. Giving voters information about candidate competence presents a(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)