As economic indicators deteriorate, the Tanzanian government has jailed an opposition leader for questioning the Bank of Tanzania's growth statistics. It's time for the World Bank and the IMF to speak up. If it's illegal to question a government's statistics, why should anyone trust them?
CGD Policy Blogs
Even the most ardent defenders of democracy sometimes worry that populist pressure may lead to short-sighted (or populist) economic policy choices. So after polling 2,000 ordinary Tanzanians in 2015 about their views on the use of expected natural gas revenue, we decided to follow up with an experiment polling Tanzanian “elites,” to see whether they are aligned with citizens, or could be swayed by citizens’ views.
Rigorous evaluations show giving poor people cash is a very effective policy. But polls show poor Tanzanians would rather have government services.
This is part II in our blog series about poll results from Tanzania on managing the country’s newfound natural gas wealth. Read part I on fuel subsidies and stay tuned for part III on transparency.
How can poor countries beat the resource curse? CGD research fellow Justin Sandefur returns to the Podcast hotseat to update us on a project that posed this question to ordinary people in Tanzania. CGD teamed up with REPOA to bring hundreds of Tanzanians to Dar es Salaam to debate what to do with that country’s newly-discovered natural gas deposits. This week, Justin is back to share the project’s results.
Experts worry letting ordinary citizens manage resource windfalls will lead to populism. We ran a randomized trial in deliberative democracy in Tanzania to find out.
As African leaders meet in Washington this week, one issue is not on the agenda: the poor quality of basic economic and social data in the region.