“Enfranchising Your Own? Experimental Evidence on Bureaucrat Diversity and Election Bias in India”,
American Economic Review, 108(6): 1288-1321, June 2018. (Paper)
This paper investigates the effects of polling station administrator diversity on elections in India, using a natural experiment—the random assignment of government officials to teams managing polling stations on election day—together with surveys conducted with voters and election officers. I demonstrate that changes in the religious and caste composition of officer teams impact voting at the polling station level, causing shifts in coalition vote shares large enough to influence election outcomes. Effects are strongest when officers have greater discretion over the voting process. I also provide evidence suggesting own-group favoritism by election personnel as one relevant mechanism.
"Can Electronic Procurement Improve Infrastructure Provision? Evidence from Public Works in India and Indonesia" (with Sean Lewis-Faupel, Benjamin A. Olken, and Rohini Pande),
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 8(3): 258-83, August 2016. (Paper)
This paper examines whether electronic procurement (e-procurement), which increases access to information and reduces personal interactions with potentially corrupt officials, improves procurement outcomes. We develop unique datasets from India and Indonesia and use variation in adoption of e-procurement within both countries. We find no evidence of reduced prices but do find that e-procurement leads to quality improvements. In India, where we observe quality directly, e-procurement improves road quality, and in Indonesia, e-procurement reduces delays. Regions with e-procurement are more likely to have winners come from outside the region. On net, the results suggest that e-procurement facilitates entry from higher quality contractors.
“Coordinating Voters against Criminal Politicians: Evidence from a Mobile Experiment in India”, with Siddharth George and Sarika Gupta
"Having it at Hand: How Small Search Frictions Impact Bureaucratic Efficiency", with Eric Dodge, Rohini Pande, and Charity Troyer Moore
“Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Impacts of Open Meetings in State Legislatures”