Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 9 > Issue 1

Do Selection Rules Affect Leader Responsiveness? Evidence from Rural Uganda

Guy Grossman, University of Pennsylvania, USA, ggros@sas.upenn.edu
Suggested Citation
Guy Grossman (2014), "Do Selection Rules Affect Leader Responsiveness? Evidence from Rural Uganda", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 9: No. 1, pp 1-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00013012

Publication Date: 11 Mar 2014
© 2014 G. Grossman
Public Economics,  Elections
Political accountabilityPolitical selectionCommunity-driven developmentMonitoringLocal public goods


Download article
In this article:
1. The Debate Regrading Formal Governance Instituions 
2. Theoretical Argument 
3. The Research Site: APEP Farmer Associations 
4. Sampling and Data Sources 
5. Plausibly Exogenous Variation in Governance Rules 
6. Measurement of Key Outcome Variables 
7. Main Results 
8. Mechanisms 
9. Discussion and Conclusion 


Community organizations in developing countries often suffer from selfserving elites. This study examines whether the responsiveness and accountability of local leaders can be strengthened through the introduction of more inclusive and participatory leader selection rules. To address identification problems, I take advantage of natural conditions that resulted in exogenous variation in the rules for selecting leaders of farmer associations in Uganda. I find that compared to leaders appointed by the community elites, directly elected leaders are significantly more responsive to group members, leading to greater cooperative behavior. Analyzing possible mechanisms, I find that community organizations using appointments are less likely to develop monitoring institutions that are vital for constraining the behavior of local elites. Unique social network data provides evidence that close friendship ties between appointed and appointers substitute for formal monitoring institutions, leading to loss of confidence by community members and, subsequently, to a decline in public goods contributions.