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How does a country move from a low information-low accountability political equilibrium to one where voters are informed and politicians feel pressure to perform well? This paper explores two broad aspects of this equilibrium shift in the context of a national scale-up of a political information campaign in Sierra Leone. The first looks at the fundamentals of supply and demand for information, measuring i) politician willingness to participate in initiatives that inform voters and how it responds to the introduction of a guaranteed dissemination platform; and ii) voter willingness to pay for information and its compatibility with for-profit private sector dissemination models. The second captures general constraints in scaling a controlled demonstration pilot to serve a much broader population, including displacement effects, spillovers, distributional effects, piloting bias, and the ability to maintain impact while extending reach and lowering cost.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Katherine Casey is an Associate Professor of Political Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her research explores the interactions between economic and political forces in developing countries, with a particular interest in the role of information in enhancing political accountability and the influence of foreign aid on economic development. Her work has appeared in the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, and Quarterly Journal of Economics, among others. She teaches a course in the MBA program focused on firm strategy vis a vis government in emerging markets.
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