Two years prior to elections, two-thirds of Delhi municipal councillors learned they had been randomly chosen for a preelection newspaper report card. Treated councillors in high-slum areas increased pro-poor spending, relative both to control counterparts and treated counterparts from low-slum areas. Treated incumbents ineligible to rerun in home wards because of randomly assigned gender quotas were substantially likelier to run elsewhere only if their report card showed a strong pro-poor spending record. Parties also benefited electorally from councillors' high pro-poor spending. In contrast, in a cross-cut experiment, councillors did not react to actionable information that was not publicly disclosed.


Banerjee, Abhijit, Nils Enevoldsen, Rohini Pande, and Michael Walton. 2024. "Public Information Is an Incentive for Politicians: Experimental Evidence from Delhi Elections." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 16 (3): 323–53.