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Behavioral economics and public sector reform : an accidental experiment and lessons from Cameroon (Inglês)

Starting with the hypothesis that behaviors are the critical (and often overlooked) factor in public sector performance, this paper explores the notion of how behavioral change (and thus institutional change) might be better motivated in the public sector. The basis for this study is "an accidental experiment" resulting from the World Bank's operational engagement in Cameroon. In 2008, World Bank staff successfully concluded preparation on a project to support the Government of Cameroon to improve transparency, efficiency, and accountability of public finance management. The US$15 million project supported a number of ministries to strengthen a broad range of management systems and capacities. Independently and concurrently, other Bank staff initiated a low-profile, technical assistance project to improve performance in Cameroon's Customs, supported by a small trade facilitation grant of approximately US$300,000. One approach appears to have succeeded in initiating change while the other has signally failed. The two projects of different scale, scope and design in the same governance environment offer a very interesting natural experiment (unplanned but accidental for that reason) that allows insights into the nature of institutional change and the role of behavior and incentives and approaches that offer greater prospects for making reform possible. The paper confirms the value of using ideas from behavioral economics, both to design institutional reforms and to critically assess the approach to institutional reform taken by development agencies such as the World Bank.


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    Raballand,Gael J. R. F., Rajaram,Anand

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    Documento de trabalho sobre pesquisa de políticas

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    Behavioral economics and public sector reform : an accidental experiment and lessons from Cameroon

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    public sector reform;Trade and Transport Facilitation;public management reform;Public Finance Management;public sector performance;capacity of country;Public Sector Governance;Public Sector Organizations;public sector specialist;state of knowledge;model of transparency;civil service system;budget support operations;extent of corruption;lack of finance;moral hazard effect;procurement of equipment;private sector actors;customs clearance time;customs revenue collection;change in behavior;provision of equipment;behavioral economics;institutional change;performance contract;governance environment;loss aversion;customs official;customs reform;financial incentive;natural experiment;mutual trust;behavioral change;political context;customs process;change management;pilot program;bureaucratic inertia;Political Economy;political environment;customs inspector;information asymmetry;customs performance;political commitment;political leadership;political authority;project lending;standard approach;budget execution;increased revenue;collect revenue;reform design;financial resource;budget program;positive impact;objective criterion;organizational skill;financial advice;supervision cost;external partner;small grants;fiscal administration;donor agencies;international standard;customs procedure;procurement process;illegal payment;payroll system;conventional approach;administrative cost;perverse incentives;corrupt countries;road map;reform effort;target behavior;fiduciary safeguard;fraud cases;treasury accounting;corrupt transaction;budget monitoring;international expert;container terminal;customs issues;diagnostic work;perverse effects;private operator;clearance process;project selection;inspection procedure;organizational deficiencies;changing behavior;performance management;personal behavior;core indicator;trust relationship;strategic approach;fragile states;investment lending;oecd countries;fiscal pressure;market economy;longer period;public support;government incentive;Management Systems;open access;development policy;net effect;national administration;customs department;Salary Grades;incentive system;income differential;good performance;Wage Bill;modernization program;budget formulation;political scientist;behavioral pattern;dutiable good;good governance;institutional foundation;national budget;reform objectives;institutional design;Public Goods;Government Performance;historical perspective;public resource;work performance;systemic reform;disciplinary action;organizational autonomy;budget cycle;domestic constituencies;public official;state fund;permanent committee;governance practice;aid effectiveness;political acceptance;rational choice;path dependence;organizational form;experimental method;prospect theory;profit seeking;pension plan;vested interests;block reform;procurement management;budget system;Budget Management;



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