Political Economy

Patronage and Selection in Public Sector Organizations

In all modern bureaucracies, politicians retain some discretion in public employment decisions, which may lead to frictions in the selection process if political connections substitute for individual competence.

Journal Article
1 Oct 2020

Watering Down Environmental Regulation in China

This paper, by He, Wang and Zhang (2020), estimates the effect of environmental regulation on firm productivity using a spatial regression discontinuity design implicit in China's water quality monitoring system.

Journal Article
22 Jun 2020

The Politics of Order in Informal Markets: Evidence from Lagos

Property rights are important for economic exchange, but in many parts of the world, they are not publicly guaranteed.

Journal Article
1 Jan 2020

On the Origins of the State: Stationary Bandits and Taxation in Eastern Congo

A positive demand shock for coltan, a mineral whose bulky output cannot be concealed, leads armed actors to create illicit customs and provide protection at coltan mines, where they settle as “stationary bandits.” A similar shock for gold, easy to conceal,

Journal Article
1 Jan 2020

Social, Formal, and Political Determinants of Trade under Weak Rule of Law: Experimental Evidence from Senegalese Firms

When contracting institutions are weak or exploitable, firms in developing countries rely on a mixture of social and formal heuristics to select business partners.

Working Paper
17 Jun 2019

The Political Determinants of Economic Exchange: Evidence from a Business Experiment in Senegal

Economic growth requires confidence in the state's ability to enforce secure exchange. But when states selectively enforce rule of law, political considerations can moderate the trust that buyers have in sellers.

Working Paper
1 Apr 2019

Terrorism, Credit and Investment: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Pakistan

This project looks, on the one hand, at the effect of charity donations to terrorist organizations on attacks, and on the other at how firms adjust their lending and investment decisions in presence of increased uncertainty.

Research Project
15 Nov 2018

Social Origins of Dictatorship: Elite Networks and Political Transitions in Haiti

Existing theories of democratic reversals emphasize that economic incentives should determine when elites resist democracy. Naidu, Robinson and Young (2017) argue that the capacity to organize coups against democracy is also important, and is shaped by the structure of the social network.

Research Note
13 Jun 2017

Political Behaviour and Private Enterprises' Growth in Burkina Faso

Based on primary data collected from private enterprises, we show that political connection is practiced in Burkina Faso’s public procurements.

Research Note
21 Nov 2016

Social Origins of Dictatorships: Elite Networks and Political Transitions in Haiti

Existing theories of coups against democracy emphasize that elite incentives to mount a coup depend on the threat that democracy represents to them and what they stand to gain from dictatorship.

Working Paper
1 Nov 2016

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