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Serena Cocciolo, Stockholm U. Print
Friday, 20 April 2018, 12:15 - 13:15

ENTER Seminar

Serena Cocciolo, Stockholm University

Community-Driven Development and the Value of Participation: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh

Abstract: By encouraging participation and dialogue between social groups, participatory development programs are often promoted as a potential channel to build social cohesion and strengthen democratic values and practices. This project evaluates the impact of Community-Driven Development (CDD) intervention on preferences for participatory decision-making. I study an arsenic mitigation program implemented in rural communities in Bangladesh characterized by strong participatory components. I designed a novel lab-in-the-field experiment to measure the value attached to participation. Preliminary results indicate that the value of participatory decision-making increases with exposure to our CDD program. The overall effect is driven primarily by an increase in the intrinsic value of participation in response to our CDD program, suggesting that the exposure to participatory governance has an impact on the value that citizens attach to inclusive decision-making practices per se, above and beyond instrumental considerations. The evidence presented in this paper supports a more optimistic view on the potential of participatory development to reinforce preferences for inclusive institutions, and it provides interesting avenues for future research on the formation and persistence of norms and institutions. 

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