Cornell University

"Voluntary Audits: Experimental Evidence on Monitoring Front-Line Bureaucrats in Argentina"

Monday, March 23, 2020 at 12:15pm to 1:10pm

Stimson Hall, G01
204 East Ave., Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Is it possible to motivate front-line bureaucrats to exert effort in their work without relying on traditional punitive forms of oversight?  We examine the motivation and performance of school principals in their administration of a free meal program targeted at school children in an Argentine province. We work with the provincial auditing body to implement an encouragement design in which some principals are offered the opportunity to volunteer for an audit. We expect that volunteering will increase intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as well as school-level outcomes. Preliminary results suggest that the intervention increased principals’ intrinsic motivation with respect to the meal program and increased the likelihood principals report that the opinion of the auditing office is important to them.  We find no effect on extrinsic motivation or self-reported hours worked.

Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Brown University. Her research explores sources of variation in the quality of representation, government accountability to citizens, and public opinion in lower and middle-income democracies. Her book, "Curbing Clientelism in Argentina:  Politics, Poverty, and Social Policy" was published with Cambridge University Press (2014) and received the Donna Lee Van Cott Award from the Political Institutions Section of the Latin American Studies Association.  She has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of Politics in Latin America, and elsewhere. Current projects include a field experiment on bureaucratic oversight in Argentina,
large surveys on citizen oversight of corruption, and a conceptual and empirical project on political knowledge and access to state services.

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Latino Studies Program, Latin American Studies Program (LASP), Anthropology, Sociology, Department of Development Sociology (DSOC), Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Government, Global Learning

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Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro

Speaker Affiliation

Associate Professor of Political Science

Disability Access Information

Building is Handicap accessible

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Free and Open to the Public

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