Does paying local leaders lead to better economic development?

Guest post by Gedeon Lim index

This is the thirteenth in this year’s series of posts by PhD students on the job market

Much of modern development efforts are channelled through local government structures. In 2020, for example, 248,160 Gram Panchayats in India will receive transfers of $8.3 billion; 41,913 Barangays in the Philippines will receive $2.5 billion; and in Indonesia, 74,000 rural villages have received annual transfers of $5.1 billion since 2014. Yet, despite the amount of resources devolved to local government, chief executives – Sarpanch (Gram Panchayat heads), Barangay captains, or village chiefs – are rarely paid a living wage for their time as local leaders.

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