Promoting efficiency in the public sector

This class will focus on the problem of promoting efficient provision of public goods and services, paying particular attention to the challenge of delivering public services in developing nations. We will survey the recent academic literature, covering a variety of research methods including traditional data analysis, and laboratory and field experiments. Students taking this class should be familiar with economics and basic statistical analysis.
The course will be divided into three interrelated subject areas. In the first block, we will examine what type of individuals are attracted to careers in the public sector, and explore the subtleties of providing bureaucrats with the proper incentives. In the second block, we will devote ourselves to the specific problem of corruption -- i.e. when public sector workers distort the social objective of the public institution in exchange for private gain. In the last block, we will take a political-economy approach to examine issues pertaining to the delivery of public services in developing nations.