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CEU Economic Seminar Series: Political Identity and Foreign Aid Efficacy: Evidence from Pakistani Schools

CESS by Stegmann
Wednesday, November 2, 2022, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm

In this paper, we examine how political identity and self-image concerns shape local willingness to collaborate with NGOs administering development programs - a key factor for aid efficacy. On behalf of a NGO, we call school owners in Pakistan to elicit their interest in a collaboration. In the treatment group, we explicitly reveal the NGO's liberal political motivation. The phone conversation is private and designed to minimize consequential considerations, allowing to isolate self-image concerns related to an anti-liberal political identity. While the treatment has a significant impact on beliefs about the NGO’s objectives, on average, we find no evidence that treated school owners are less interested in collaborating with the NGO. However, among the small minority of school owners expressing conservative beliefs in an additional obfuscated phone survey, we document large negative heterogenous treatment effects. Our findings contribute to our understanding of how donors' political interests affect the efficacy of NGO-provided aid.

Joint paper with Sanval Nasim