University of Southern California
Department of Economics
3620 South Vermont Ave.
Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Institutional Affiliation: University of Southern California
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|November 2018||Improving Last-Mile Service Delivery using Phone-Based Monitoring|
with Karthik Muralidharan, Paul Niehaus, Sandip Sukhtankar: w25298
Improving “last-mile” public-service delivery is a recurring challenge in developing countries. Could the widespread adoption of mobile phones provide a scalable, cost-effective means for improvement? We use a large-scale experiment to evaluate the impact of phone-based monitoring on a program that transferred nearly a billion dollars to 5.7 million Indian farmers. In randomly-selected jurisdictions, officials were informed that program implementation would be measured via calls with beneficiaries. This led to a 7.6% reduction in the number of farmers who did not receive their transfers. The program was highly cost-effective, costing 3.6 cents for each additional dollar delivered.