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UCLouvain Economics Seminar - Alex Armand (Nova School of Business and Economics)
By UCLouvain Economics Seminar

Alex Armand

(Nova School of Business and Economics)

will give a presentation on

Does Information Break the Political Resource Curse? Experimental Evidence from Mozambique


The political resource curse is the idea that natural resources can lead to the deteriorationof public policies through corruption and rent-seeking by those closest to political power. Oneprominent consequence is the emergence of conflict. This paper takes this theory to the datafor the case of Mozambique, where a substantial discovery of natural gas recently took place.Focusing on the anticipation of a resource boom and the behavior of local political structuresand communities, a large-scale field experiment was designed and implemented to follow thedissemination of information about the newly-discovered resources. Two types of treatmentsprovided variation in the degree of dissemination: one with information targeting only localpolitical leaders, the other with information and deliberation activities targeting communitiesat large. A wide variety of theory-driven outcomes is measured through surveys, behavioralactivities, lab-in-the-field experiments, and georeferenced administrative data about local con-flict. Information given only to leaders increases elite capture and rent-seeking, while infor-mation and deliberation targeted at citizens increases mobilization and accountability-relatedoutcomes, and decreases violence. While the political resource curse is likely to be in play,the dissemination of information to communities at large has a countervailing effect.

13 February
12:45 - 14:00
Doyen 22
Place des Doyens, 1