Some Meanings and Impacts of "Culture" in Institutions and Organizations
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
- Chair: Robert S. Gibbons, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Social Ties and the Delivery of Development Programs
AbstractIn village economies, dense social networks support cooperation and exchange between citizens. The global shift towards hiring agents from within communities to deliver programs implies that the networks these agents are embedded in may affect delivery. We examine this using a randomized evaluation of an agricultural extension program in Uganda where we randomly pick one of two potential local delivery agents and map ties between delivery agents and farmers, between delivery agents and between farmers. Consistent with a model of favor exchange in social networks we find that (i) farmers tied to the chosen delivery agent are more likely to be treated than those tied to the counterfactual agent, (ii) this preferential treatment disappears when the two potential agents are tied by friendship, family or politics and (iii) when this is not the case the delivery agent actively prevents program benefits from diffusing to the ties of of the counterfactual agent. These results reveal the deep influence that social networks have on program delivery and help us to understand the highly unequal pattern of effects of the program both within and across villages.
Distrust and Political Turnover
AbstractWe present findings that document one way in which a society’s culture can affect political
outcomes. Examining an annual panel of democratic countries over six decades, we show
that severe economic downturns are more likely to cause political turnover in countries
that have lower levels of generalized trust. We find no such relationship in non-democratic
countries or on irregular leader turnover. This pattern is consistent with a mechanism
that works through accountability and the electoral process. As further corroboration of
this mechanism, we find that the effects of trust are greatest during years with regularlyscheduled
elections, and within democracies with a parliamentary system, a fully free
media, and more stability. The estimates suggest that generalized trust significantly affects
political institutions by influencing the extent to which citizens attribute economic
downturns to the mistakes of politicians.
The Development Effects Of The Extractive Colonial Economy: The Dutch Cultivation System in Java
AbstractColonial powers typically organized economic activity in the colonies to maximize their economic returns. While the literature has emphasized long-run negative economic impacts via institutional quality, the changes in economic organization implemented to spur production historically could also directly in
uence economic organization in the long-run, exerting countervailing eects. We examine these in the context of the Dutch Cultivation System, the integrated industrial and agricultural system for producing sugar that formed the core of the Dutch colonial enterprise in 19th century Java. We show that areas close to where the Dutch established sugar factories in the mid-19th century are today more industrialized, have better infrastructure, are more educated, and are richer than nearby counterfactual locations that would have been similarly suitable for colonial sugar factories. We also show, using a spatial regression discontinuity design on the catchment areas around each factory, that villages forced to grow sugar cane have more village owned land and also have more schools and substantially higher education levels, both historically and today. The results suggest that the economic structures implemented by colonizers to facilitate production can continue to promote economic activity in the long run, and we discuss the contexts where such effects are most likely to be important.
- D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
- L2 - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior