CSI in the tropics. Experimental evidence of improved public service delivery through coordination


This paper evaluates the impacts of increased coordination, accountability, and lead- ership among teams of responsible public officials, with evidence from homicide inves- tigations in Colombia. We randomly assigned the investigations of 66% of the 1,683 homicides occurring in Bogot ́a, Colombia, during 2016 to a new investigation proce- dure emphasizing these features. We find a statistically significant 30% increase in the conviction rate in the treatment group relative to the control group. Indicators of the quality of the investigative process also improve,as well as the rate at which a formal accusation is presented before a court.Complementary findings suggest that the treat- ment produces well-coordinated teams that can communicate more fluently. Also, a survey of investigative team members reveal that work motivation, the extent to which they receive feedback on their performance, the pertinence and effectiveness of their roles, and the perceived quality and coordination of the team all improve under the new scheme.

JEL Classification: C93, D73, J45, K14, K42

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