(publications and working papers [WP], by section, in reverse chronological order)
[WP] Imran Rasul and Daniel Rogger, Management of Bureaucrats and Public Service Delivery: Evidence from the Nigerian Civil Service
We study how the management practices under which public sector bureaucrats
operate, correlate to the quantity and quality of public services delivered.
We do so in a developing country context, exploiting data from the Nigerian
Civil Service linking public sector organizations to the individual projects
they are responsible for. For each of 4700 projects, we have hand coded
independent engineering assessments of each project's completion rate and
delivered quality. We supplement this information with a survey we conducted
to elicit management practices for bureaucrats in each of the 63 civil
service organizations responsible for these projects, following the approach
of Bloom and Van Reenen . We find management practices related to
autonomy significantly increase project completion rates and
project quality; management practices related to performance-based
incentives significantly decrease project completion rates and
project quality. We then document: (i) how the impacts of autonomy vary by
project and organizational characteristics following Aghion and Tirole
; (ii) whether the negative impacts of performance related management
practices are driven by issues related to project complexity/multi-tasking,
and bureaucrats operating under multiple principals. Finally we provide
evidence on how each dimension of management practice interplays with
bureaucrat characteristics, such as their tenure, intrinsic motivation and
perceptions of organizational corruption. Our findings provide among the
first evidence to quantify the potential gains to public service delivery
arising from marginal changes in how civil service bureaucrats are
In the news: World Bank blog post by Markus Goldstein
[WP] Daniel Rogger, Assessing Decentralisation Within Government
Empirical approaches to assessing decentralisation have typically ignored the potential for a series of endogeneity concerns. First, different tiers of government may implement projects of different complexity. Second, Parliamentarians may endogenously sort projects across tiers for electoral gain, in a way that effects their quality. Finally, civil servants may sort themselves across tiers based on characteristics related to project quality. Using a unique data set from Nigeria, I investigate these concerns. I define new measures of complexity and identify a comparable group of projects across tiers. Conditioning on these measures, I show that Parlimentarians are in fact sorting projects to different tiers of government for political gain, and this effects their implementation quality. Finally, using a survey of civil servants from across the country, I show that whilst civil servants at different tiers do not seem to differ, the political conditions in which they operate are distinct. Together, these findings indicate that different tiers serve different politics and this accounts for the higher rate of performance of more decentralised tiers.
[WP] Daniel Rogger, Public Service Rules? Method and Measurement in Public Officials Surveys
Understanding corruption in developing country governments has typically been an exercise in association. Perceptions or measures of phenomena argued to be related to corruption are used as proxy measures. A different strategy is to directly survey public officials in corrupt settings. However, large scale exercises of this kind have been unfortunately rare and there is significant scope for further surveys. This paper outlines the key issues a researcher confronts in surveying public officials, how these have been mitigated and how we might interpret what the data tells us about life in the civil service.
[WP] It's Tough At The Top: The Impact of Complexity on the Success of Public Sector Projects
Analysis of government productivity has rarely taken account of the technical complexity of public projects. The implicit assumption is that complexity doesn't matter or is randomly allocated. To investigate the role of technical complexity in the completion of public projects, I develop a new set of complexity indicators with academics and engineers who are specialists in the area. We use these to collect data on the complexity of over 7000 public projects and investigate the impact of different forms of technical challenges to the completion of public projects.
[WP] Bargaining in Legislatures: Evidence from the Developing World
Delivering Public Services in the Developing World: Frontiers of Research
Every five years I intend to publish an overview of research on the delivery of public services in the developing world, based on interviews with researchers and practitioners actively working in the field.
[WP] Daniel Rogger (2014), “Delivering Public Services in the Developing World: Frontiers of Research II ” [coming soon]
This essay presents a view of the frontiers of research on public service delivery in the developing world, based on a series of interviews with researchers and practitioners actively working in this field. It reviews how far the research literature has come since the publication of the World Development Report 2004 ten years ago. There is growing interest in expanding standard intervention-based research to determine effective methods for its delivery. However, a lack of data on the internal workings of many providers inhibits rapid progress in the development of this literature.
Daniel Rogger (2009), “Delivering Public Services in the Developing World: Frontiers of Research” Oxonomics 4:1, pp.19-24
This essay presents a view of the frontiers of research on public service delivery in the developing world, based on a series of interviews with researchers and practitioners actively working in this field. It recognizes the lasting contribution of the theoretical framework laid down by the World Development Report 2004 that emphasized accountability, and the randomized evaluations that have taken place to test and develop this theory. Research on other questions, such as those relating to the analysis of politics and the structure and organization of government, is at an earlier stage, and is likely to need a more structural approach. There are many questions still to be answered in this field.
[Draft] Daniel Rogger, Delivering Public Goods in the Developing World: Theory and Empirics
- Appendix 1, 'Studies Related to the Impacts of Public Goods', is available here [coming soon]
Martin Alsop, Jonathan Phillips and Daniel Rogger (forthcoming), “Debt Relief and Poverty Reduction in Nigeria”, National Institute for Social and Economic Research Series on Economic Policy, Ibadan: NISER
Emla Fitzsimons et al. (2012), “UK Development Aid” Institute for Fiscal Studies Green Budget 2012, pp. 142 - 161
In 2010, the UK government spent £8.45 billion – 0.57% of Gross National Income (GNI) – on Overseas Development Aid (ODA), mainly through the Department for International Development. This is set to rise to £12 billion in 2013 in order to fulfil the commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on ODA, something that is particularly controversial against the backdrop of fiscal austerity for almost all other areas of public expenditure. The decision to increase aid spending raises some obvious questions and concerns.
Anthony Costello et al. (2009), “Managing the health effects of climate change” The Lancet 373: 9676, pp. 1693 - 1733 (see here for other associated documents)
Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.
Effects of climate change on health will affect most populations in the next decades and put the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk. During this century, earth’s average surface temperature rises are likely to exceed the safe threshold of 2°C above preindustrial average temperature. Rises will be greater at higher latitudes, with medium-risk scenarios predicting 2–3°C rises by 2090 and 4–5°C rises in northern Canada, Greenland, and Siberia. In this report, we have outlined the major threats - both direct and indirect - to global health from climate change through changing patterns of disease, water and food insecurity, vulnerable shelter and human settlements, extreme climatic events, and population growth and migration. Although vector-borne diseases will expand their reach and death tolls, especially among elderly people, will increase because of heatwaves, the indirect effects of climate change on water, food security, and extreme climatic events are likely to have the biggest effect on global health.
Pam Meadows and Daniel Rogger (2005), “Low-Income Homeowners in Britain: Descriptive Analysis” Public policy paper for the UK Department of Work and Pensions
[WP] Daniel Rogger, “Water Get Enemy: The Story of Delivering Public Services in the Developing World”
This is a fictional story that sketches the passage of a public project through a developing country government. It aims to introduce the reader to the challenges of delivering public services in the developing world. I have made a (shortened) audio version available as an mp3 or iTunes podcast.
Daniel Rogger, Introductory notes on mechanism design for UCL PhD microeconomics course
Alex Armand et al. (2009), 'Assessing the Impact of Infant Mortality upon the Fertility Decisions of Mothers in India', Aenorm 64:17 (chosen as the best overall paper submitted to the Econometric Game 2009 judges)
'Why Interdisciplinarity?', Institute for Global Health Annual Report 2008/9
Interdisciplinary collaboration has recently been attracting increasing support as an approach to research. Universities are setting up interdisciplinary institutes and schools. Funding bodies are earmarking increasingly large sums to collaborative research projects. Historically hailed as a paradigm but underfunded, interdisciplinarity finally seems to be hitting the financial big time.
'Making the Most of Being a Student at UCL Economics Department', Equilibrium newspaper November 2008 (Equilibrium is the UCL economics department in-house magazine, and archived issues can be found here)
'ODI fellows: Developing or Damaging?', ODI fellows newsletter, October 2006
Letters to my generation, a blog on philosophy
Adventures in interdisciplinarity, a 'blogette' on my experiences of interdisciplinarity
Daniel Rogger (2008), "For a moment of confusion: The dismal lives of economic agents"