Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Coordination and the Poor Maintenance Trap: an Experiment on Public Infrastructure in India

Research output: Working paper

Author(s)

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Poorly maintained public infrastructure is common in low- and middle-income countries, with consequences for service delivery and public health. By experimentally identifying the impact of incentives for local maintenance for both providers and potential users, this paper provides one of the first economic analyses of providerâ??user dynamics in the presence of local coordination failure. Focusing on shared sanitation facilities for slum residents in two major Indian cities, we randomly allocate facilities to either a control or two treatments. The first treatment incentivizes maintenance of the facility among providers, while the second treatment adds a sensitization campaign about the returns of a well-maintained facility among potential users. Using surveys, behavioral and objective measurements for both providers and potential users, we show that incentivizing maintenance does not favor collective action. The treatments raise the quality of facilities and reduce free riding, but at the cost of user selection. Providers improve routine maintenance, but also respond strategically to the newly-introduced incentives. While slum residents' private willingness to pay and cooperation are unaffected, their demand for public intervention increases. The second treatment raises awareness, but does not affect behavior.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
VolumeDP16284
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and hesitancy in low- and middle-income countries

    Solís Arce, J. S., Warren, S. S., Meriggi, N. F., Scacco, A., McMurry, N., Voors, M., Syunyaev, G., Malik, A. A., Aboutajdine, S., Adeojo, O., Anigo, D., Armand, A., Asad, S., Atyera, M., Augsburg, B., Awasthi, M., Ayesiga, G. E., Bancalari, A., Björkman Nyqvist, M., Borisova, E. & 54 others, Bosancianu, C. M., Cabra García, M. R., Cheema, A., Collins, E., Cuccaro, F., Farooqi, A. Z., Fatima, T., Fracchia, M., Galindo Soria, M. L., Guariso, A., Hasanain, A., Jaramillo, S., Kallon, S., Kamwesigye, A., Kharel, A., Kreps, S., Levine, M., Littman, R., Malik, M., Manirabaruta, G., Mfura, J. L. H., Momoh, F., Mucauque, A., Mussa, I., Nsabimana, J. A., Obara, I., Otálora, M. J., Ouédraogo, B. W., Pare, T. B., Platas, M. R., Polanco, L., Qureshi, J. A., Raheem, M., Ramakrishna, V., Rendrá, I., Shah, T., Shaked, S. E., Shapiro, J. N., Svensson, J., Tariq, A., Tchibozo, A. M., Tiwana, H. A., Trivedi, B., Vernot, C., Vicente, P. C., Weissinger, L. B., Zafar, B., Zhang, B., Karlan, D., Callen, M., Teachout, M., Humphreys, M., Mobarak, A. M. & Omer, S. B., 16 Jul 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Nature Medicine. First Online, 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Can white elephants kill? Unintended consequences of infrastructure development in Peru

    Bancalari, A., 28 Sep 2019, Institute for Fiscal Studies, (IFS Working Paper).

    Research output: Working paper

ID: 275395873

Top