Political Economy of Service Delivery: Monitoring Versus Contestation


  • Kjell Hausken,

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
    • Corresponding author: Kjell Hausken, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, 4036 Stavanger, Norway. Tel: +47 51 831632; Fax: +47 51 831550; Email: kjell.hausken@uis.no

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  • Mthuli Ncube

    1. African Development Bank Group, Tunis, Tunisia
    2. Graduate School of Business Administration, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
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  • We acknowledge the data from the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) and World Bank on service delivery in Tanzania and Senegal. We thank two anonymous referees of this journal for their helpful comments.


Many communities suffer limited public goods provision due to civil servants (doctors, teachers, etc.) supplementing their low income with moonlighting activities. Monitors of civil servants commonly also earn low salaries from monitoring and may prefer political contestation for power and prestige. We determine an internal equilibrium for how monitors strike a balance between monitoring and political contestation, and a corner solution where an unresourceful monitor does not monitor. Multiple characteristics, including the intensity of political contestation, are accounted for. Survey data from Tanzania and Senegal are used to show the significance of poor service delivery within education and healthcare services.