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Title Understanding the Downstream Effects of Aid on Political Perceptions and Behavior
Post date 06/15/2017
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale

This experiment is an evaluation of the political downstream effects of the allocation of foreign development project aid. In 2015, the PIs executed a field experiment examining the allocation of NGO-provisioned school aid by local councillors in Malawi (Jablonski and Zimmerman 2015). This earlier project resulted in the constrained and randomized allocation of school aid and provides us with a unique opportunity to evaluate the causal effects of aid on perceptions of government, voting, and beliefs about government and NGO performance.

C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

See attached PAP

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *

To evaluate these effects, we conducted baseline and endline surveys before and after the delivery of school aid. These were conducted among voters in three separate groups: (1) communities that were selected by the elected councillors to receive goods and received them after selection in the lottery, (2) communities that were selected by the elected councillors to receive goods but did not receive them because they were not selected in the lottery; (3) communities that were not selected by the elected councillors to receive goods. Within each community, we measured perceptions of the councillor, perceptions of the allocation process, and anticipated voting behavior. By collecting baseline and endline voter survey data, and by including these three groups in the process, we expect to be able to isolate aggregate differences in public opinion that are due to the influx of development goods in the community from such differences that are due to simply being favored by the political process or national shifts in public opinion over time. Also, unlike other studies, we can evaluate voter perceptions in precisely those places where politicians have chosen to allocate development goods. This provides us with a more realistic and arguably a “most likely” case for seeing an effect of aid on public opinion and political behavior. The results of this study will allow us to validate our priors that voters value the allocation of donor development goods and often attribute such goods to the influence of elected leaders.

C4 Country Malawi
C5 Scale (# of Units) 2000
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? No
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number National Commission for Science and Technology, Malawi
C9 Date of IRB Approval October 30, 2015
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Researchers
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? not provided by authors
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? not provided by authors
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors