Can Institutions be Reformed from Within? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment with the Rajasthan Police

Published By: BREAD on eSS | Published Date: February, 27 , 2012

Institutions in developing countries, particularly those inherited from the colonial period, are often thought to be subject to strong inertia. This study presents the results of a unique randomized trial testing whether these institutions can be reformed through incremental administrative change. The police department of the state of Rajasthan, India collaborated with researchers at US and Indian universities to design and implement four interventions to improve police performance and the public’s perception of the police in 162 police stations (covering over one-fifth of the State’s police stations and personnel): (1) placing community observers in police stations; (2) a freeze on transfers of police staff; (3) in-service training to update skills; and (4) weekly duty rotation with a guaranteed day off per week. These reforms were evaluated using data collected through two rounds of surveys including police interviews, decoy visits to police stations, and a large-scale public opinion and crime victimization survey—the first of its kind in India. [BREAD Working Paper No. 324]. URL:[].

Author(s): Abhijit Banerjee, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Duflo, Daniel Keniston, Nina Singh | Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 | Views(525) | Download (929)

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