Development & Growth

Evidence from the use of communal lands in southern Namibia suggests that there is a higher tendency towards anti-social behaviour and conflict amongst groups who were exposed to higher levels of resource scarcity than others.

Prediger et al (2014) Journal of Public Economics

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Behavioural

Indian sugar cane farmers’ cognitive performance is significantly lower before harvest, when their finances are stretched thin. Their performance improves after harvest, when financial concerns are alleviated. This result cannot be attributed to obvious factors, such as nutrition and stress levels.

Mani et al (2013) Science Magazine

Political Economy, Uncategorized

Officials under the threat of reelection are more likely to conform with the prevailing public opinion but it is also easier for the public to monitor their actions. Constitutions should take the magnitude of these effects into account when prescribing whether the decision making power is allocated to officials who can get re-elected, to those who cannot or to the the public directly(i.e. deciding through a referendum).

Maskin & Tirole (2004) AER

Industrial Organization

A regulator usually has less information (about costs, technology, etc) than the firm it regulates. This can lead to strategic behaviour and inefficient results. While cost-plus regulation will lead to cost overruns, price cap systems can lead to huge rents for efficient firms. Optimal regulation must take into account these incentives and may not achieve first best levels of efficiency, but will trade off efficiency gains and distributional concerns.

Laffont & Tirole (1986) Journal of Political Economy