Building State and Citizen: How Tax Collection in Congo Engenders Citizen Engagement with the State

Jonathan L. Weigel. 2017. (Job Market PaperAppendix. Related links: World BankCyrus Samii.

Abstract: Does tax collection catalyze citizen engagement with the state? I conduct the first field experiment to randomize tax collection: a door-to-door tax campaign in Kananga, D.R. Congo. I use the experiment to test the classic “tax-bargaining hypothesis,” which expects citizens to lobby the state for better governance in response to taxation...

Read More

Citizen Participation in Corruption: Evidence from Roadway Tolls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Otis Reid and Jonathan L. Weigel. 2017. (Working Paper)

Why is corruption so resilient? While many recent papers examine interventions seeking to discipline bureaucrats, less is known about the citizen side of corruption. This randomized controlled trial is designed to explore three components of citizen supply of bribes in the context of roadway tolls in Kananga, D.R. Congo: individual financial cost, perceived social cost, and social norms...

Read More

The Evolution of Culture and Institutions: Evidence from the Kuba Kingdom

Sara Lowes, Nathan Nunn, James A. Robinson, and Jonathan Weigel. 7/2017. Econometrica, 85, 4, Pp. 1065-1091. (Paper). Appendix. Coverage by Cato Institute.

We use variation in historical state centralization to examine the impact of institutions on cultural norms. The Kuba Kingdom, established in Central Africa in the early 17th century by King Shyaam, had more developed state institutions than the other independent villages and chieftaincies in the region...

Read More

Understanding Ethnic Identity in Africa: Evidence from the Implicit Association Test (IAT)

Sara Lowes, Nathan Nunn, James A. Robinson, and Jonathan L. Weigel. 2015. American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 105, 5, Pp. 1-8. (Paper). Appendix. Coverage by VoxEU

Despite the salience of ethnicity in African politics, recent experimental research finds little evidence of intrinsic coethnic bias. We develop a new measure of ethnic bias that is less sensitive to experimenter demand effects and other forms of measurement error.

Read More