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    Chong, Alberto, Rafael LaPorta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer. 2014. “Letter Grading Government Efficiency.” Journal of European Economic Association 12 (2): 277-299. Abstract

    We mailed letters to non-existent business addresses in 159 countries (10 per country), and measured whether they come back to the return address in the US and how long it takes. About 60% of the letters were returned, taking over 6 months, on average. The results provide new objective indicators of government efficiency across countries, based on a simple and universal service, and allow us to shed light on its determinants. The evidence suggests that both technology and management quality influence government efficiency, just as they do that of the private sector.

    Bordalo, Pedro, Nicola Gennaioli, and Andrei Shleifer. 2013. “Salience and Consumer Choice.” Journal of Political Economy 121 (5): 803-843. Abstract
    We present a theory of context-dependent choice in which a consumer’s attention is drawn to salient attributes of goods, such as quality or price. An attribute is salient for a good when it stands out among the good’s attributes relative to that attribute’s average level in the choice set ðor, more broadly, the choice contextÞ. Consumers attach disproportionately high weight to salient attributes, and their choices are tilted toward goods with higher quality/price ratios. The model accounts for a variety of disparate evidence, including decoy effects and contextdependent willingness to pay. It also suggests a novel theory of misleading sales.
    Botero, Juan, Alejandro Ponce, and Andrei Shleifer. 2013. “Education, Complaints, and Accountability.” Journal of Law and Economics 56 (4): 959-996. Abstract
    Better-educated countries have better governments, an empirical regularity that holds in both dictatorships and democracies. Possible reasons for this fact are that educated people are more likely to complain about misconduct by government officials and that more frequent complaints encourage better behavior from officials. Newly assembled individual-level survey data from the World Justice Project show that, within countries, better-educated people are more likely to report official misconduct. The results are confirmed using other survey data on reporting crime and corruption. Citizens’ complaints might thus be an operative mechanism that explains the link between education and the quality of government.
    Bordalo, Pedro, Nicola Gennaioli, and Andrei Shleifer. 2013. “Salience and Asset Prices.” American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 103 (3): 623-628.

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