2023-24 Lloyd & Susanne Rudolph Field Research Fellow




The Impact of Public Good Provision Frictions, Evidence from Road Infrastructure Investments in Kampala 



Fast growing cities must upgrade their road network to accommodate increasing numbers of daily commuters and unlock their economic growth potential. Yet, acquiring the land needed to build these roads may trigger holdouts and collective action problems from affected individuals and communities. These strategic behaviors, combined with city governments’ limited budget for land acquisition, may lead to under provision and spatial misallocation of infrastructure investments. Kampala, Uganda’s capital, is one such city. While over half a billion USD is being invested to pave and widen the city's road network, the government must first rightfully acquire the Right of Way from existing landowners. I study how collective action and holdout problems vary within the city, thus affecting the location of road investments. I leverage several sources of data, including unique administrative data on the negotiations between the city government and affected individuals, quantitative survey and qualitative interviews. Finally, I estimate a quantitative spatial model to assess the city-level welfare impacts of deviating from the optimal road network. 



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Jeanne Sorin is a fourth year PhD Student in the Department of Economics. She holds MSc and BSc degrees from Sciences Po Paris, France. In ongoing projects in Jakarta and Kampala, she studies transportation infrastructure and adaptation to environmental hazards, with a focus on air pollution. Jeanne’s research leverages a broad range of methodological tools from quantitative spatial models to randomized control trials.