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Democracy, Governance, and Randomized Development Assistance

By: Devra C. Moehler

This article was published in the journal The ANNALS of American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Can field experiments be productively employed to study the impact of development assistance on democracy and governance (DG) outcomes? A small but growing number of practitioners and scholars, often working in partnership, are inventing a new research domain at the intersection of evaluation and political science. This article reviews recent and ongoing DG field experiments, and it offers lessons about the prospects and obstacles to the future development of a useful body of experimental evidence on the political economy of development.