One-Two Punch Approach to Fighting Corruption in Public Infrastructure

February 20, 2017

Investigator: CDEP Affiliate Paul Lagunes

In developing contexts, the regulatory framework is generally weak and accountability is often lacking. Corruption expands to cover a number of government activities, including the construction of public infrastructure. In this sector, corruption is associated with time and cost overruns, and so the question is whether civil society oversight that is explicitly supported by the relevant authorities can improve the execution of public infrastructure projects. The study builds on a sample of 200 urban and peri-urban district governments spread across Peru that are supposed to channel central government funds toward the efficient construction of public works. Half of the districts were randomly selected to enter into a control group. The other half received letters signaling that specific projects under their charge were actively being monitored by members of civil society and that the authorities supported the monitoring activities.

Available as working paper: "Guardians of Accountability: A Field Experiment on Corruption and Inefficiency in Local Public Works."

basketball court