Strengthening Fragile States: Evidence from Mobile Salary Payments in Afghanistan
with Stefano Fiorin (Bocconi University)
Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)
Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette / Belval
Room 0.517 of MSH
02:00 pm
03:15 pm
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Fragile states struggle to develop basic and essential capacities like tracking and paying employees. Developing these capabilities presumes confidence that the state will continue to exist, which is not assured in fragile states. We present the results of a randomized evaluation in Afghanistan, where the government implemented a major reform to modernize its teacher payroll system. This required teachers to biometrically register and receive digital salaries. This reform made employees legible to the state, reduced payment delays, and increased financial inclusion for teachers. We also find suggestive evidence that the reform increased student learning. Notably, implementation was most successful in districts with higher public confidence in the government’s ability to prevail against the Taliban. This result points to a complementarity between confidence in future stability and the development of basic state capacity.


More about the 3E DTU

The Doctoral Training Unit (DTU) 3E - Experiments, Ethics and Economics - consists of an interdisciplinary consortium of 9 social scientists who use scientific experiments involving human subjects in their research. The objective of the consortium is to create a formal link for collaboration across the three existing social science research laboratories in Luxembourg, with the aim to push forward the state-of-the-art of what we know about human behavior in economic interactions. The DTU 3E gathers members across 5 Luxembourgish research units:

(1) Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research LISER
(2) Institute for Health and Behavior IHB (Faculty of Humanities FLSHASE, University of Luxembourg UL)
(3) Institute of Cognitive Science and Assessment COSA (FLSHASE, UL)
(4) Luxembourg School of Finance LSF (Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance FDEF, UL)
(5) Luxembourg Centre of Logistics LCL (Economics Research Centre CREA, FDEF, UL)

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