Bypass Aid and Perceptions of Local Government Performance and Legitimacy

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

What are the consequences of revealing true information about the origins and administration of local development projects to Ugandan adults? Do they think differently about their own government when they learn that the financing for a local development project has come from outside of their country and that the entity responsible for bringing the project to their community is a non-governmental organization? We conduct an informational experiment among N=2,446 Ugandan adults in 18 different parishes in which we randomize the information that we provide about a local project in which foreign aid bypasses the government (i.e., funding from donors is provided to NGOs for project implementation). Our experimental design permits us to separately estimate the effect of finding out a project is donor-funded, the effect of finding out a project is NGO-implemented, and their interaction. We use both survey measures and a donation game to study whether citizens are more or less responsive to government entreaties. We find that providing information about bypass aid decreases citizens’ beliefs about the quality of their local government but has limited effects on their willingness to comply with the government in either survey or behavioral measures. We also find evidence that information that a project bypasses government increases citizens’ willingness to contribute money to it.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationWilliamsburg, VA
PublisherAidData at William & Mary
Number of pages26
StatePublished - Jun 28 2018

Publication series

NameAidData Working Paper
No.56

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  • Cite this

    Baldwin, K., & Winters, M. S. (2018). Bypass Aid and Perceptions of Local Government Performance and Legitimacy. (AidData Working Paper; No. 56). AidData at William & Mary.