Water, Spillovers and Free Riding: Provision of Local Public Goods in a Spatial Network (SSRN working paper)
Both state and non-governmental organizations provide public goods in developing countries, potentially generating inefficiencies where they lack coordination. In rural Tanzania, more than 500 organizations have installed hand-powered water pumps in a decentralized fashion. I estimate the costs of this fragmented provision by studying how communities' pump maintenance decisions are shaped by strategic interactions between them. I model the maintenance of pumps as a network game between neighboring communities, and estimate this model using geo-coded data on the location, characteristics and functionality of water sources, and human capital outcomes. Estimation combines maximum simulated likelihood with a clustering algorithm that partitions the data into geographic clusters. Using exogenous variation in the similarity of water sources to identify spillover and free riding effects between communities, I find evidence of maintenance cost-reduction spillovers among pumps of the same technology and strong water source free-riding incentives. As a result, standardization of pump technologies would increase pump functionality rates by 6 percentage points. Moreover, water collection fees discourage free riding and would increase pump functionality rates by 11 percentage points if adopted universally. This increased availability of water would have a modest positive effect on child survival and school attendance rates.

Work in Progress

Program Evaluation in the Presence of Strategic Interactions, with Daron Acemoglu, Francis DiTraglia and Camilo Garcia-Jimeno

Identifying Causal Effects in Experiments with Social Interactions and Non-compliance, with Francis DiTraglia, Camilo Garcia-Jimeno and Alejandro Sanchez

Distributional Effects of Cash Transfers, with Robert Garlick, Kate Orkin and Natalie Quinn