This paper examines the impact of interethnic exposure on national integration in a multiethnic state. It uses variation arising from a mandatory program in Nigeria that randomly posted university graduates to different states of the country for a year of national service. I administer a survey to a cohort of university alumni seven years after their participation and compare participants who served in a state where they are the ethnic majority to those exposed to a state where they are not the majority. The results indicate two concurrent effects. First, interethnic exposure creates a stronger connection to the country: exposed participants have greater national pride, are more knowledgeable about other ethnic regions and are more willing to move to other ethnic regions. In line with this, I observe that they are four times as likely to be living outside their ethnic region. Second, consistent with social identity theory, immersion in a different culture also reinforces participants' connection to their ethnic group by highlighting distinctions between groups: they have greater ethnic pride and are more likely to have all their closest friends from their ethnic group. In addition, I find no evidence of increased closeness or trust towards other ethnic groups.
In a context with low legal enforcement, what factors can promote entry into the tax base? While the Allingham-Sandmo model and the growing literature on third party reporting emphasize the importance of detection capacity, less attention has been paid to the ability of the state to enforce the tax laws and collect payment after detection. This project uses a randomized field experiment with property owners in Liberia to understand how individuals respond to increases in state capacity along these two dimensions.
We study the impact of technological innovations on corruption by examining the adoption and subsequent impact of electronic tax filing in Tajikistan. Electronic filing allows taxpayers to submit their tax declarations online thereby avoiding interactions with tax officials during monthly tax submissions. We examine whether firms’ risk of tax evasion predicts their likelihood of adopting e-filing, since higher risk firms may differentially benefit from frequent contact with inspectors and paper records. Next, we study the impact of e-filing adoption on firms’ perceptions of corruption in tax administration as well as their economic and tax behavior.