DP6363 The Returns from Reducing Corruption: Evidence from Education in Uganda

Author(s): Ritva Reinikka, Jakob Svensson
Publication Date: June 2007
Keyword(s): Corruption, Education, Newspaper campaign
JEL(s): D73, I22, O12
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6363

What is the most effective way to increase primary school enrolment and student learning? We argue that innovations in governance of social services may yield the highest return since social service delivery in developing countries is often plagued by inefficiencies and corruption. We examine this hypothesis by exploiting an unusual policy experiment: A newspaper campaign in Uganda aimed at reducing capture of public funds by providing schools (parents) with information to monitor local officials' handling of a large education grant program. Combining survey and administrative data, we show that the campaign was successful, and the reduction in capture of funds had a positive effect on enrolment and student learning.