Compliance, Accountability and the Social Contract: Studying the Impacts of Property Tax Reform in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Project Researchers: Wilson Prichard, Niccolo Meriggi, IGC, Julian Michel, UCLA & Kevin Grieco, UCLA
Partners: WARC Group
Past Project

This research programme seeks to address four overlapping questions through a combination of (a) randomized controlled interventions in the reform programme, (b) exploiting discontinuities in the implementation of reform to identify causal impacts, (c) systematic tracing of the impact of the reform programme on popular attitudes and behaviours, and (d) the mapping of compliance data across the city against a broad set of political and economic information. Each question will be subject to its own logic, and research interventions, but those interventions will also be overlapping, such that we can study potential interactions between the different interventions, and the potential existence of the virtuous cycles discussed above. Aside from the analytical advantages of studying these questions in parallel, combining them will also imply substantial cost efficiencies (and greater analytical power) as it will allow us to rely on a single large household survey at the baseline and endline in order to evaluate a wide range of outcomes of interest. The four broad questions are as follows: Understanding the drivers of compliance Understanding the impact of reform on engagement and accountability Understanding the impact of reform on political authority and legitimacy Understanding the political economy of reform