Where the state is weak, traditional authorities control the local provision of public goods. These leaders come from an older, less educated generation and often rule in an authoritarian and exclusionary fashion. This means the skills of community members may not be leveraged in policymaking. We experimentally evaluate two solutions to this problem in Sierra Leone: one encourages delegation to higher-skill individuals, and a second fosters broader inclusion in decision making. In a real-world infrastructure grants competition, a public nudge to delegate led to better outcomes than the default of chiefly control, whereas attempts to boost participation were largely ineffective.
© 2021 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology