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CSAS Lecture Series | India's Information Deficit and the Governance Challenge: Some Experimental Evidence

Friday, December 4, 2015
12:00 AM
School of Social Work Building Room 1636

Weak information flows, between citizens and policymakers, across different tiers of the government, and between regulators and those subject to regulation, inhibit policy implementation in India. This talk will discuss learnings from a series of recent field experiments on how policy implementation can be improved by reducing information deficits.

Rohini Pande is an economist and the Mohammed Kamal Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. She co-directs the Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) Initiative (@EPoDHarvard). Her research examines the economic costs and benefits of informal and formal institutions and the role of public policy in affecting change. Her work in India has examined how institutions - ranging from electoral to financial - can be designed to empower historically disadvantaged groups; how low-cost improvements in information collection and dissemination can enable flexible regulation and more efficient outcomes in areas as diverse as environmental protection and elections; and how biased social norms, unless challenged by public policy, can worsen individual well-being and reduce economic efficiency.

Recently, she has turned her attention to the gulf that often exists between the design of public programs and their successful implementation. She is testing ways that training, transparency, data visualization, and strategically places incentives can change the behavior of those charged with delivering public policies and improve implementation.

At Harvard Kennedy School, Pande is also the Area Chair for International Development. Her other current affiliations include Executive Committee member of the Bureau of Research on Economic Development (BREAD), co-chair of the Political Economy and Government Group at Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), board member at Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR), and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Her publications have appeared in the top economics and policy journals.This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Economics.

Rohini Pande, Mohammed Kamal Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University