Research Papers

Working Papers

  • Lierl, M.. (2019). Can Elections Reduce Embezzlement? Experimental Evidence on Selection Effects, Public Trust and Citizens’ Tolerance for Embezzlement. R&R.
    Abstract ▼     Full Text (PDF) [PDF]     Design Registration 🔗     Pre-Analysis Plan 🔗     Online Appendix 🔗    

    How do corruption outcomes, such as the embezzlement of public funds, depend on the method by which public decision makers are selected? Through an experiment with 472 groups of citizens in Burkina Faso, this paper compares elected and randomly appointed leaders along three dimensions: The leaders’ social preferences, citizens’ trust in them, and citizens’ willingness to punish embezzlement. It is found that elections generally favor pro-social candidates and increase citizens’ willingness to punish embezzlement. However, elections also cause citizens to be overly trusting towards decision makers. Leaders who are able to hide embezzlement can exploit the public trust that elections confer upon them. Transparency is important to counteract this perceptive bias.

    @article{Lierl2016a,
    title={Can Elections Reduce Embezzlement? Experimental Evidence on Selection Effects, Public Trust and Citizens' Tolerance for Embezzlement},
    author={Lierl, Malte},
    journal={R\&R},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={},
    year={2019},
    publisher={},
    abstract={How do corruption outcomes, such as the embezzlement of public funds, depend on the method by which public decision makers are selected? Through an experiment with 472 groups of citizens in Burkina Faso, this paper compares elected and randomly appointed leaders along three dimensions: The leaders' social preferences, citizens' trust in them, and citizens' willingness to punish embezzlement. It is found that elections generally favor pro-social candidates and increase citizens' willingness to punish embezzlement. However, elections also cause citizens to be overly trusting towards decision makers. Leaders who are able to hide embezzlement can exploit the public trust that elections confer upon them. Transparency is important to counteract this perceptive bias. },
    doi={},
    url={http://www.maltelierl.info/files/LierlElectionsEmbezzlement.pdf},
    supplement={http://www.maltelierl.info/files/LierlElectionsEmbezzlement-appendix.pdf},
    registration={http://egap.org/registration/1246},
    pap={http://egap.org/file/522/download?token=IxAs7atP},
    status={Working Paper},
    group={Working Papers},
    groupkey={Working Papers},
    display_order={1}
    }

  • Lierl, M.. (2018). Corruption and Accountability at the Grassroots Level: An Experiment on the Preferences and Incentives of Village Leaders. .
    Abstract ▼     Full Text (PDF) [PDF]    

    This article examines the willingness of elected and non-elected village leaders to misappropriate public resources for personal gain. A behavioral experiment with local leaders in 48 Tanzanian villages reveals that elected village leaders are intrinsically less willing to misappropriate public funds than externally appointed village leaders and ordinary citizens in the same communities. However, actual corruption outcomes depend less on the village leaders’ intrinsic preferences than on the social and electoral incentives village leaders are facing in their community. At the village level, corruption is highly conspicuous and difficult to hide. Therefore, village leaders have to anticipate the consequences of their actions for their social reputations and for their future social interactions in the village. These informal social incentives affect not only elected leaders, but also non-elected leaders, and appear to offset some of the advantages of electoral selection.

    @article{Lierl2014a,
    title={Corruption and Accountability at the Grassroots Level: An Experiment on the Preferences and Incentives of Village Leaders},
    author={Lierl, Malte},
    journal={},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={},
    year={2018},
    publisher={},
    abstract={This article examines the willingness of elected and non-elected village leaders to misappropriate public resources for personal gain. A behavioral experiment with local leaders in 48 Tanzanian villages reveals that elected village leaders are intrinsically less willing to misappropriate public funds than externally appointed village leaders and ordinary citizens in the same communities. However, actual corruption outcomes depend less on the village leaders' intrinsic preferences than on the social and electoral incentives village leaders are facing in their community. At the village level, corruption is highly conspicuous and difficult to hide. Therefore, village leaders have to anticipate the consequences of their actions for their social reputations and for their future social interactions in the village. These informal social incentives affect not only elected leaders, but also non-elected leaders, and appear to offset some of the advantages of electoral selection. },
    doi={},
    url={http://www.maltelierl.info/files/Lierl2014a.pdf},
    supplement={},
    status={Working Paper},
    group={Working Papers},
    display_order={2}
    }

  • Lierl, M.. (2016). Rent Extraction and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods: A Field-Based Behavioral Experiment. .
    Abstract ▼     Full Text (PDF) [PDF]    

    Community contributions are an important way of financing local public goods in developing countries. However, they are difficult to enforce and vulnerable to embezzlement by local leaders. How are (quasi-)voluntary contributions to public goods affected by the possibility of embezzlement? To shed light on this question, this study combines lab-in-the-field experiments in 48 villages in Tanzania with observational data on voluntary cooperation and embezzlement. It finds that the possibility of embezzlement reduces voluntary contributions, but the effect is heterogeneous. In communities where people embezzle less, the possibility of embezzlement has a less negative effect on contributions than in communities where more embezzlement takes place. Collective expectations about embezzlement, which vary from one village to another, seem to have profound consequences for compliance with local contributions.

    @article{Lierl2015a,
    title={Rent Extraction and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods: A Field-Based Behavioral Experiment},
    author={Lierl, Malte},
    journal={},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={},
    year={2016},
    publisher={},
    abstract={Community contributions are an important way of financing local public goods in developing countries. However, they are difficult to enforce and vulnerable to embezzlement by local leaders. How are (quasi-)voluntary contributions to public goods affected by the possibility of embezzlement? To shed light on this question, this study combines lab-in-the-field experiments in 48 villages in Tanzania with observational data on voluntary cooperation and embezzlement. It finds that the possibility of embezzlement reduces voluntary contributions, but the effect is heterogeneous. In communities where people embezzle less, the possibility of embezzlement has a less negative effect on contributions than in communities where more embezzlement takes place. Collective expectations about embezzlement, which vary from one village to another, seem to have profound consequences for compliance with local contributions. },
    doi={},
    url={http://www.maltelierl.info/files/Lierl2015a.pdf},
    status={working paper},
    group={Working Papers},
    display_order={3}
    }

  • Lierl, M.. (2016). Social Incentives and Free Riding: Experimental Evidence from 48 Villages in Tanzania. .
    Abstract ▼    

    While peer sanctioning can effectively sustain cooperation in laboratory public goods dilem- mas, this may not always be the case in natural settings. In an experiment with ran- domly sampled residents of 48 villages in Tanzania, I show that the personal attributability of voluntary contributions reduced free riding only in a stranger setting, where individuals were unlikely to ever meet in person, but not among co-villagers, where repeated social inter- action outside the experiment is possible. Instead, the need to anticipate the consequences of free riding for their future social interactions and reputations outside the experiment caused some individuals to free ride more. I propose that egalitarian norms and redistributive prac- tices in village communities propagate selective tolerance for free riding and create social incentives for individuals to free ride, because they do not want to be perceived as wealthy, exploitable, or suspiciously generous. Across villages, a more negative effect of such in- centives in the experiment is associated with lower actual revenue mobilization and greater prevalence of centralized enforcement structures.

    @article{Lierl2014b,
    title={Social Incentives and Free Riding: Experimental Evidence from 48 Villages in Tanzania},
    author={Lierl, Malte},
    journal={},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={},
    year={2016},
    publisher={},
    abstract={While peer sanctioning can effectively sustain cooperation in laboratory public goods dilem-
    mas, this may not always be the case in natural settings. In an experiment with ran-
    domly sampled residents of 48 villages in Tanzania, I show that the personal attributability
    of voluntary contributions reduced free riding only in a stranger setting, where individuals
    were unlikely to ever meet in person, but not among co-villagers, where repeated social inter-
    action outside the experiment is possible. Instead, the need to anticipate the consequences of
    free riding for their future social interactions and reputations outside the experiment caused
    some individuals to free ride more. I propose that egalitarian norms and redistributive prac-
    tices in village communities propagate selective tolerance for free riding and create social
    incentives for individuals to free ride, because they do not want to be perceived as wealthy,
    exploitable, or suspiciously generous. Across villages, a more negative effect of such in-
    centives in the experiment is associated with lower actual revenue mobilization and greater
    prevalence of centralized enforcement structures. },
    doi={},
    url={},
    status={Working Paper},
    group={Working Papers},
    display_order={4}
    }

  • Lierl, M.. (2014). Altruism, not reciprocity, explains cooperation between spouses in poverty-afflicted households. .
    Abstract ▼    

    A lack of cooperation between spouses can cause households to forgo opportunities to improve their economic situation. Studies of household welfare in low-income countries have documented patterns of inefficient intra-household decision-making, especially with respect to allocative decisions among married couples. However, not all couples make equally inefficient decisions. Why are some married couples able to maintain higher levels of internal cooperation than others? Is cooperation between spouses driven by the anticipation of reciprocity, or is it altruistically motivated? Through a field experiment in rural Tanzania, I show that the observable heterogeneity in spousal cooperation behavior can overwhelmingly be explained by other-regarding preferences, such as altruism. Anticipated reciprocity has, on average, only a negligible causal effect on cooperation between spouses.

    @article{Lierl2014d,
    title={Altruism, not reciprocity, explains cooperation between spouses in poverty-afflicted households},
    author={Lierl, Malte},
    journal={},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={},
    year={2014},
    publisher={},
    abstract={A lack of cooperation between spouses can cause households to forgo opportunities to improve their economic situation. Studies of household welfare in low-income countries have documented patterns of inefficient intra-household decision-making, especially with respect to allocative decisions among married couples. However, not all couples make equally inefficient decisions. Why are some married couples able to maintain higher levels of internal cooperation than others? Is cooperation between spouses driven by the anticipation of reciprocity, or is it altruistically motivated? Through a field experiment in rural Tanzania, I show that the observable heterogeneity in spousal cooperation behavior can overwhelmingly be explained by other-regarding preferences, such as altruism. Anticipated reciprocity has, on average, only a negligible causal effect on cooperation between spouses. },
    doi={},
    status={Working Paper},
    group={Working Papers},
    display_order={5}
    }

  • Lierl, M.. (2013). Alternative Identification Strategies for Causal Mediation Effects. .
    Abstract ▼    

    The paper proposes a nonparametric identification strategy for causal mediation effects via a generalized control function approach akin to Newey and Imbens (2009). It contrasts the necessary identification assumptions with alternative sets of identification assumptions that have previously been proposed in the literature.

    @article{Lierl2013c,
    title={Alternative Identification Strategies for Causal Mediation Effects},
    author={Lierl, Malte},
    journal={},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={},
    year={2013},
    publisher={},
    abstract={The paper proposes a nonparametric identification strategy for causal mediation effects via a generalized control function approach akin to Newey and Imbens (2009). It contrasts the necessary identification assumptions with alternative sets of identification assumptions that have previously been proposed in the literature. },
    doi={},
    status={Working Paper},
    group={Working Papers},
    display_order={6}
    }

Published & Forthcoming

  • Lierl, M.. (2016). Social Sanctions and Informal Accountability: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 28(1), 74-104. doi:10.1177/0951629815586885
    Abstract ▼     Full Text (PDF) [PDF]     Online Appendix 🔗     Replication Materials 🔗    

    When public goods are co-produced by citizens and public authorities, problems of free riding and problems of provider accountability frequently coincide. How are voluntary contributions to a public good sustained when they are vulnerable to rent extraction by a third party? In a laboratory experiment, I test whether contributions in a public goods dilemma can be decentrally enforced through costly, mutual sanctioning capacity, even if the contributions can be misappropriated by a third party. I find that costly sanctioning capacity among the beneficiaries of a public good can substantially reduce free riding, without increasing the rate at which contributions are misappropriated by the provider. However, this effect can be undermined if mutual sanctioning capacity exists between the third-party provider and the beneficiaries. Contrary to existing predictions, social sanctioning relationships which both embed the provider and encompass the beneficiaries of a public good are not associated with greater, but partly with lower public goods provision than sanctioning relationships which are only embedding or encompassing.

    @article{LierlJTP2016,
    title={Social Sanctions and Informal Accountability: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment},
    author={Lierl, Malte},
    journal={Journal of Theoretical Politics},
    volume={28},
    number={1},
    pages={74-104},
    year={2016},
    publisher={},
    abstract={When public goods are co-produced by citizens and public authorities, problems of free riding and problems of provider accountability frequently coincide. How are voluntary contributions to a public good sustained when they are vulnerable to rent extraction by a third party? In a laboratory experiment, I test whether contributions in a public goods dilemma can be decentrally enforced through costly, mutual sanctioning capacity, even if the contributions can be misappropriated by a third party. I find that costly sanctioning capacity among the beneficiaries of a public good can substantially reduce free riding, without increasing the rate at which contributions are misappropriated by the provider. However, this effect can be undermined if mutual sanctioning capacity exists between the third-party provider and the beneficiaries. Contrary to existing predictions, social sanctioning relationships which both embed the provider and encompass the beneficiaries of a public good are not associated with greater, but partly with lower public goods provision than sanctioning relationships which are only embedding or encompassing. },
    doi={10.1177/0951629815586885},
    url={http://jtp.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/06/24/0951629815586885.full.pdf+html},
    supplement={http://www.maltelierl.info/files/Lierl2013-appendix.pdf},
    replication={http://maltelierl.info/?page_id=433},
    status={Published},
    group={Published \& Forthcoming},
    display_order={1}
    }

  • Dunning, T., Grossman, G., Humphreys, M., Hyde, S. D., McIntosh, C., Nellis, G., Adida, C. L., Arias, E., Bicalho, C., Boas, T. C., Buntaine, M. T., Chauchard, S., Chowdhury, A., Gottlieb, J., Hidalgo, D. F., Holmlund, M., Jablonski, R., Kramon, E., Larreguy, H., Lierl, M., Marshall, J., McClendon, G., Melo, M. A., Nielson, D. L., Pickering, P. M., Platas, M. R., Querubin, P., Raffler, P., & Sircar, N.. (2019). Voter information campaigns and political accountability: Cumulative findings from a preregistered meta-analysis of coordinated trials. Science Advances, 5(7), eaaw2612. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaw2612
    Abstract ▼     Full Text (PDF) [PDF]     Online Appendix 🔗    

    Voters may be unable to hold politicians to account if they lack basic information about their representatives’ performance. Civil society groups and international donors therefore advocate using voter information campaigns to improve democratic accountability. Yet, are these campaigns effective? Limited replication, measurement heterogeneity, and publication biases may undermine the reliability of published research. We implemented a new approach to cumulative learning, coordinating the design of seven randomized controlled trials to be fielded in six countries by independent research teams. Uncommon for multisite trials in the social sciences, we jointly preregistered a meta-analysis of results in advance of seeing the data. We find no evidence overall that typical, nonpartisan voter information campaigns shape voter behavior, although exploratory and subgroup analyses sug-gest conditions under which informational campaigns could be more effective. Such null estimated effects are too seldom published, yet they can be critical for scientific progress and cumulative, policy-relevant learning.

    @article{Dunning2019,
    title={Voter information campaigns and political accountability: Cumulative findings from a preregistered meta-analysis of coordinated trials},
    author={Dunning, Thad and Grossman, Guy and Humphreys, Macartan and Hyde, Susan D. and McIntosh, Craig and Nellis, Gareth and Adida, Claire L. and Arias, Eric and Bicalho, Clara and Boas, Taylor C. and Buntaine, Mark T. and Chauchard, Simon and Chowdhury, Anirvan and Gottlieb, Jessica and Hidalgo, F. Daniel and Holmlund, Marcus and Jablonski, Ryan and Kramon, Eric and Larreguy, Horacio and Lierl, Malte and Marshall, John and McClendon, Gwyneth and Melo, Marcus A. and Nielson, Daniel L. and Pickering, Paula M. and Platas, Melina R. and Querubin, Pablo and Raffler, Pia and Sircar, Neelanjan},
    journal={Science Advances},
    volume={5},
    number={7},
    pages={eaaw2612},
    year={2019},
    publisher={},
    abstract={Voters may be unable to hold politicians to account if they lack basic information about their representatives' performance. Civil society groups and international donors therefore advocate using voter information campaigns to improve democratic accountability. Yet, are these campaigns effective? Limited replication, measurement heterogeneity, and publication biases may undermine the reliability of published research. We implemented a new approach to cumulative learning, coordinating the design of seven randomized controlled trials to be fielded in six countries by independent research teams. Uncommon for multisite trials in the social sciences, we jointly preregistered a meta-analysis of results in advance of seeing the data. We find no evidence overall that typical, nonpartisan voter information campaigns shape voter behavior, although exploratory and subgroup analyses sug-gest conditions under which informational campaigns could be more effective. Such null estimated effects are too seldom published, yet they can be critical for scientific progress and cumulative, policy-relevant learning. },
    doi={10.1126/sciadv.aaw2612},
    url={https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaaw2612.full.pdf},
    supplement={https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/suppl/2019/07/01/5.7.eaaw2612.DC1},
    status={Published},
    group={Published \& Forthcoming},
    display_order={2}
    }

  • Lierl, M., & Holmlund, M.. (2019). Performance Information and Voting Behavior in Burkina Faso’s Municipal Elections: Separating the Effects of Information Content and Information Delivery. In Dunning, T., Grossman, G., Humphreys, M., Hyde, S., & McIntosh, C. (Eds.), In Information, Accountability, and Cumulative Learning : Lessons from Metaketa I Cambridge University Press.
    Abstract ▼     Full Text (PDF) [PDF]    

    Much of the scholarly and policy debate on information access and electoral accountability rests on the assumption that voters are more likely to support a particular candidate if they have reason to expect that this candidate will perform well in office. In this chapter, we disaggregate the causal chain by which access to information about incumbent performance could affect election outcomes. We carried out a field experiment in 38 rural municipalities in Burkina Faso that had been controlled by the same party since the 2006 elections. The varied study participants’ access to information about municipal government performance in local service delivery, while holding their knowledge of service delivery targets constant. This allows us to evaluate the effects of information content on each element of the causal chain that connects information access to voting behavior: Voters’ prior beliefs, their processing of information and expectation formation, the relationship between their beliefs and electoral preferences, and their decision to vote or abstain.

    @incollection{MetaketaChapter,
    title={Performance Information and Voting Behavior in Burkina Faso's
    Municipal Elections: Separating the Effects of Information Content
    and Information Delivery},
    author={Lierl, Malte and Marcus Holmlund},
    pages={},
    year={2019},
    editor = {Dunning, Thad and Grossman, Guy and Humphreys, Macartan and Hyde, Susan and Craig McIntosh},
    booktitle={Information, Accountability, and Cumulative Learning : Lessons from Metaketa I},
    publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
    abstract={Much of the scholarly and policy debate on information access and electoral accountability rests on the assumption that voters are more likely to support a particular candidate if they have reason to expect that this candidate will perform well in office. In this chapter, we disaggregate the causal chain by which access to information about incumbent performance could affect election outcomes. We carried out a field experiment in 38 rural municipalities in Burkina Faso that had been controlled by the same party since the 2006 elections. The varied study participants' access to information about municipal government performance in local service delivery, while holding their knowledge of service delivery targets constant. This allows us to evaluate the effects of information content on each element of the causal chain that connects information access to voting behavior: Voters' prior beliefs, their processing of information and expectation formation, the relationship between their beliefs and electoral preferences, and their decision to vote or abstain. },
    doi={},
    url={http://www.maltelierl.info/files/MetaketaChapter.pdf},
    supplement={},
    replication={},
    status={Published},
    group={Published \& Forthcoming},
    display_order={3}
    }

  • Swedlund, H., & Lierl, M.. (2019). The rise and fall of budget support: Ownership, bargaining and donor commitment problems in foreign aid. Development Policy Review. doi:10.1111/dpr.12463
    Abstract ▼     Full Text (PDF) [PDF]    

    Budget support is the form of aid most commonly associated with recipient‐country ownership. However, a number of scholars and practitioners have criticized the approach as masking new forms of conditionality. Was budget support simply a guise for increasing donor influence in recipient countries? How can we explain the rapid shift towards budget support, as well as the rapid decline in its popularity after only a few years? We use a bargaining framework to explain the rise and fall of budget support. Contrary to explanations that suggest that budget support was a normative decision by donors designed to increase aid effectiveness by fostering ownership, a bargaining framework emphasizes that aid policy is the result of sustained negotiations between donors and recipients. These negotiations, however, are constrained by donors’ inability to deliver aid as promised.

    @article{SwedlundLierl2019,
    title={The rise and fall of budget support: Ownership, bargaining and donor commitment problems in foreign aid},
    author={Swedlund, Haley and Lierl, Malte},
    journal={Development Policy Review},
    volume={0},
    number={0},
    pages={0-0},
    year={2019},
    publisher={},
    abstract={Budget support is the form of aid most commonly associated with recipient‐country ownership. However, a number of scholars and practitioners have criticized the approach as masking new forms of conditionality. Was budget support simply a guise for increasing donor influence in recipient countries? How can we explain the rapid shift towards budget support, as well as the rapid decline in its popularity after only a few years? We use a bargaining framework to explain the rise and fall of budget support. Contrary to explanations that suggest that budget support was a normative decision by donors designed to increase aid effectiveness by fostering ownership, a bargaining framework emphasizes that aid policy is the result of sustained negotiations between donors and recipients. These negotiations, however, are constrained by donors' inability to deliver aid as promised.},
    doi={10.1111/dpr.12463},
    url={https://doi.org/10.1111/dpr.12463},
    status={Published},
    group={Published \& Forthcoming},
    display_order={4}
    }

In Progress

  • Lierl, M., & Holmlund, M.. (2019). Can Scorecards Improve Municipal Government Performance? A Field Experiment. research in progress.
    Abstract ▼    

    Failures of local government can have severe consequences for the quality of public services in low-income countries. In this study, we test if municipal governments can be nudged to fix performance issues in public service delivery, by informing decision-makers about specific performance shortfalls and facilitating the internal assignment of responsibilities. In collaboration with the government of Burkina Faso, we developed an annual municipal government performance monitoring system. In 70 treatment municipalities, local decision makers were provided with a scorecard that explained national performance standards and the municipality’s actual performance on 16 indicators of service delivery and institutional capacity. Decision makers were asked to internally assign responsibilities for each performance indicator and were made aware that their performance was being monitored. While the information provided was new to most decision-makers, we find that the scorecards did not lead to short-term improvements in municipal government performance. We discuss potential reasons for the lack of short-term impact and the scope for complementary or alternative interventions to address bottlenecks in municipal government performance.

    @article{ScorecardExperiment,
    title={Can Scorecards Improve Municipal Government Performance? A Field Experiment},
    author={Lierl, Malte and Marcus Holmlund},
    journal={research in progress},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={},
    year={2019},
    publisher={},
    abstract={Failures of local government can have severe consequences for the quality of public services in low-income countries. In this study, we test if municipal governments can be nudged to fix performance issues in public service delivery, by informing decision-makers about specific performance shortfalls and facilitating the internal assignment of responsibilities. In collaboration with the government of Burkina Faso, we developed an annual municipal government performance monitoring system. In 70 treatment municipalities, local decision makers were provided with a scorecard that explained national performance standards and the municipality's actual performance on 16 indicators of service delivery and institutional capacity. Decision makers were asked to internally assign responsibilities for each performance indicator and were made aware that their performance was being monitored. While the information provided was new to most decision-makers, we find that the scorecards did not lead to short-term improvements in municipal government performance. We discuss potential reasons for the lack of short-term impact and the scope for complementary or alternative interventions to address bottlenecks in municipal government performance. },
    doi={},
    url={},
    supplement={},
    registration={},
    pap={},
    status={in progress},
    group={In Progress},
    groupkey={In Progress},
    display_order={1}
    }

  • Lierl, M., & Holmlund, M.. (2016). Citizens at the Council: A Field Experiment on Citizen Observers in Burkina Faso. research in progress.
    Abstract ▼     Design Registration 🔗    

    We investigate (1) how the presence of ordinary citizens at municipal council meetings affects the behavior of municipal decision makers, and (2) how personalized invitations to attend a municipal council meeting as “citizen observers” influence citizens’ voluntary civic participation, as well as their attitudes towards municipal governance. In a first phase, from November 2015 through May 2016, the experiment is carried out on centrally appointed local councils (special delegations), which were established in the aftermath of the popular insurrection in 2014. In a second phase, following the 2016 municipal elections, the experiment will be continued on the newly elected municipal councils that will replace the special delegations.

    @article{Lierl2016b,
    title={Citizens at the Council: A Field Experiment on Citizen Observers in Burkina Faso},
    author={Lierl, Malte and Marcus Holmlund},
    journal={research in progress},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={},
    year={2016},
    publisher={},
    abstract={We investigate (1) how the presence of ordinary citizens at municipal council meetings affects the behavior of municipal decision makers, and (2) how personalized invitations to attend a municipal council meeting as "citizen observers" influence citizens' voluntary civic participation, as well as their attitudes towards municipal governance. In a first phase, from November 2015 through May 2016, the experiment is carried out on centrally appointed local councils (special delegations), which were established in the aftermath of the popular insurrection in 2014. In a second phase, following the 2016 municipal elections, the experiment will be continued on the newly elected municipal councils that will replace the special delegations.
    },
    doi={},
    url={},
    supplement={},
    registration={https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1283},
    pap={},
    status={in progress},
    group={In Progress},
    groupkey={In Progress},
    display_order={2}
    }

  • Lierl, M., & Holmlund, M.. (2016). Does First-Hand Experience With Political Processes Increase Performance-Based Voting?. research in progress.
    Abstract ▼     Design Registration 🔗     Pre-Analysis Plan 🔗    

    In a field experiment prior to the municipal elections in Burkina Faso, we test whether first-hand experience with municipal governance processes increases performance-based voting and, more generally, voters’ interest in and receptiveness to information about the performance of their previous incumbent municipal government. The experiment consists of two sequential, cross-cutting treatment arms: First, randomly selected voting-age citizens are invited to attend municipal council meetings as “citizen observers”. Second, an individually-targeted information intervention provides voters with information about the performance of the previous incumbent municipal government. Our research design exploits the temporary replacement of elected municipal councils with centrally appointed special delegations to expose voters to municipal council decision processes, without simultaneously exposing them to information about the performance of the previous incumbent councilors.

    @article{Lierl2016c,
    title={Does First-Hand Experience With Political Processes Increase Performance-Based Voting?},
    author={Lierl, Malte and Marcus Holmlund},
    journal={research in progress},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={},
    year={2016},
    publisher={},
    abstract={In a field experiment prior to the municipal elections in Burkina Faso, we test whether first-hand experience with municipal governance processes increases performance-based voting and, more generally, voters' interest in and receptiveness to information about the performance of their previous incumbent municipal government. The experiment consists of two sequential, cross-cutting treatment arms: First, randomly selected voting-age citizens are invited to attend municipal council meetings as ``citizen observers''. Second, an individually-targeted information intervention provides voters with information about the
    performance of the previous incumbent municipal government. Our research design exploits the temporary replacement of elected municipal councils with centrally appointed special delegations to expose voters to municipal council decision processes, without simultaneously exposing them to information about the performance of the previous incumbent councilors. },
    doi={},
    url={},
    supplement={},
    registration={http://egap.org/registration/1617},
    pap={http://egap.org/file/1331/download?token=JrXtS5vraFIPZXYb38iLqibqPp_c99POjftPbRnziQo},
    status={in progress},
    group={In Progress},
    groupkey={In Progress},
    display_order={3}
    }

  • Holmlund, M., Ifkovits, D., & Lierl, M.. (2016). Candidate Differentiation and Voters’ Demand for Information. .
    Abstract ▼     Design Registration 🔗     Pre-Analysis Plan 🔗    

    Do certain dimensions of candidate differentiation – such as ethnicity, religion, or national-level party politics – cause voters to ignore any other information about candidates in local-level elections? Taking advantage of the national-level regime change in Burkina Faso, the paper illuminates how voters form preferences over local-level candidates when long-standing patterns of political competition have suddenly been disrupted.

    @article{Lierl2016c,
    title={Candidate Differentiation and Voters' Demand for Information},
    author={Holmlund, Marcus and Ifkovits, David and Malte Lierl},
    journal={},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={},
    year={2016},
    publisher={},
    abstract={Do certain dimensions of candidate differentiation -- such as ethnicity, religion, or national-level party politics -- cause voters to ignore any other information about candidates in local-level elections? Taking advantage of the national-level regime change in Burkina Faso, the paper illuminates how voters form preferences over local-level candidates when long-standing patterns of political competition have suddenly been disrupted.
    },
    doi={},
    url={},
    supplement={},
    registration={http://egap.org/registration/1279},
    pap={http://egap.org/file/807/download?token=9TBrDl1b-hxcUk9_KVfam2rxxrSuQP7FsEHHETGlzp0},
    status={in progress},
    group={In Progress},
    groupkey={In Progress},
    display_order={4}
    }

Dissertation/Book Project

  • Lierl, M.. (ongoing). Informal Governance: Enforcement and Accountability Under Weak Institutions.
    @book{InformalGovernance,
    title={Informal Governance: Enforcement and Accountability Under Weak Institutions},
    author={Lierl, Malte},
    year={ongoing},
    publisher={},
    abstract={},
    doi={},
    status={book project},
    group={Dissertation/Book Project},
    display_order={1}
    }

  • .
    @article{,
    % title={},
    % author={},
    % journal={},
    % volume={},
    % number={},
    % pages={},
    % year={},
    % publisher={},
    % abstract={ },
    % doi={},
    % url={},
    % status={Published},
    % group={Published \& Forthcoming},
    % display_order={}
    %}

Please contact me directly for papers that are currently not posted publicly.