Randomized Institutional Isomorphism - Evidence from Afghanistan

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Randomized Institutional Isomorphism - Evidence from Afghanistan

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dc.contributor.advisor Robinson, James
dc.contributor.author Beath, Andrew
dc.date.accessioned 2013-02-22T16:18:41Z
dash.embargo.terms 2014-06-21 en_US
dc.date.issued 2013-02-22
dc.date.submitted 2012
dc.identifier.citation Beath, Andrew. 2012. Randomized Institutional Isomorphism - Evidence from Afghanistan. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University. en_US
dc.identifier.other http://dissertations.umi.com/gsas.harvard:10395 en
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10336866
dc.description.abstract The dissertation compiles a series of essays which describes effects of various institutional variations randomized across a sample of 500 villages in Afghanistan in 2007. The first essay examines the institutional effects of the creation of democratically-elected, gender-balanced village development councils across 474 village councils. The creation of councils is found to have no effects on the structure and function of local governance or on how male villagers perceive local governance quality. However, council creation provokes increased local governance activity among paramilitary commanders – who experience broad-based improvements in public perceptions – and improves perceptions of local governance quality among women. The results indicate that externally-imposed de jure reforms do not substantially alter institutional outcomes, but may provoke countervailing responses by political authorities seeking to benefit from the institutional change. The second essay examines the effects of direct democracy on the alignment between public resource allocation decisions and citizen preferences. Using data from 250 villages, the study compares decision outcomes produced by secret-ballot referenda with outcomes produced by public meetings led by an elected village council. The results indicate that while elites do exert influence over outcomes produced by public meetings, their preferences do not determine the outcomes of referenda, which are influenced primarily by citizen preferences. Referenda are also found to improve citizen satisfaction, which is particularly low where elites exert undue influence over outcomes. The third essay examines whether the inclusion of villages in Afghanistan‘s largest development program affects counter-insurgency outcomes, such as individual perceptions of well-being, attitudes towards government, and the occurrence of violent incidents in surrounding areas. The program is found to affect all three measures, but only in areas with low levels of initial violence. The results indicate that development programs can limit the onset of insurgencies in relatively secure areas, but are not effective in improving attitudes to government and reducing violence where insurgents are already active. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Government en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dash.license META_ONLY
dc.subject Afghanistan en_US
dc.subject political science en_US
dc.subject economics en_US
dc.subject conflict en_US
dc.subject direct democracy en_US
dc.subject governance en_US
dc.subject political economy en_US
dc.subject randomized controlled trials en_US
dc.title Randomized Institutional Isomorphism - Evidence from Afghanistan en_US
dc.type Thesis or Dissertation en_US
dash.embargo.until 10000-01-01
thesis.degree.date 2012 en_US
thesis.degree.discipline Political Science en_US
thesis.degree.grantor Harvard University en_US
thesis.degree.level doctoral en_US
thesis.degree.name Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Colton, Timothy en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Werker, Eric en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Pande, Rohini en_US
dc.data.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1902.1/18189 en_US
dc.data.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1902.1/18189 en_US

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