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Manekin, D, Grossman G, Mitts T.  2017.  Contested Ground: Disentangling Material and Symbolic Attachment to Disputed Territory. Working paper. AbstractAppendixManuscript

A large literature argues that territorial disputes are prone to conflict because of the value of territory to publics, whether due to its strategic and material worth, or to its intangible, symbolic value. Yet despite the implications of the distinction for both theory and policy, empirically disentangling the material from the symbolic has posed a formidable methodological challenge. We propose a set of tools for assessing the nature of individual territorial attachment, drawing on a series of survey experiments in Israel. Our empirical analysis illustrates how the distribution of territorial preferences in the domestic population can have powerful implications for conflict and its resolution.

Getmansky, A, Grossman G, Wright AL.  2017.  Border Forti cation and the Economics of Crime. AbstractManuscript

An important challenge in the crime literature is to separate deterrence from displacement. We estimate the causal effect of a large, plausibly random border fortification project on crime in Israel. The timing of fortification was staggered, disrupting smuggling access to some towns before others. Using data on the location of car thefts before and after fortification, we find a large deterrent effect in protected towns (41% decline) and substantial displacement to not-yet-protected towns (34% increase). For some protected towns, fortification also arbitrarily increased the length of preferred smuggling routes. These granular disruptions further deterred auto theft (6% drop per kilometer).

Grossman, G, Humphreys M, Sacramone-Lutz G.  2016.  Information Technology and Political Engagement: Mixed Evidence from Uganda. AbstractManuscriptAppendix

This study integrates three related field experiments to learn about how Information Communications Technology (ICT) innovations can affect who gets to communicate with politicians. We implemented a nationwide experiment in Uganda following a smaller-scale framed field experiment that showed that ICTs can lead to significant ``flattening'': a greater share of marginalized populations used SMS-based communication compared to existing political communication channels. We find no evidence for such flattening from the national experiment, however. Instead patterns of participation look like politics as usual: participation rates are low and marginalized populations engage at especially low rates. We examine possible reasons for these differences, and then present the design and analysis of a third mechanism experiment that helps parse rival explanations for these divergent patterns. The evidence suggests that even when citizens have issues they want to raise, technological fixes to communication deficits can be easily undercut by structural weaknesses in political systems.

Gottlieb, J, Grossman G, Larreguy HA, Marx B.  2016.  A Signaling Theory of Distributive Policy Choice: Evidence From Senegal. Manuscript
Grossman, G, Michelitch K.  2016.  Information Dissemination, Competitive Pressure, and Politician Performance between Elections: A Field Experiment in Uganda. AbstractManuscriptAppendix

Politicians regularly underperform in their job duties partly due to the obscurity of their actions to constituents. In this study, we investigate the effects of a local NGO's initiative to improve the transparency of politicians' actions in a multi-year field experiment involving 408 politicians in 20 Ugandan district governments between the 2011 and 2016 elections. The NGO created performance `scorecards' each year to rate how good politicians carried out their legally defined job duties, and presented them to all politicians in district plenary sessions. For randomly selected politicians, the scorecard was also disseminated to constituents. We find that scorecard dissemination improved politicians' subsequent performance across a range of performance measures and development project procurement, but only in competitive constituencies. The effect on the performance of duties assessed on the scorecard emerges immediately after treatment. These findings suggest that, depending on electoral pressure, performance transparency can improve politicians' performance between elections.