Clark C Gibson

Clark C Gibson
University of California, San Diego | UCSD · Department of Political Science

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91
Publications
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Publications

Publications (91)
Article
Incumbent politicians often deliver mixed performance records: good results in some areas but poor ones in others. We explore the challenges these records generate for voters attempting to use elections to incentivize better governance, improved development outcomes, and greater accountability. We argue that evaluation of mixed records poses a more...
Article
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Elections can enhance state legitimacy. One way is by improving citizens’ attitudes toward government, thereby increasing their willingness to comply with rules and regulations. We investigate whether reducing fraud in elections improves attitudes toward government in a fragile state. A large, randomly assigned fraud-reducing intervention in Afghan...
Article
Election Ink and Turnout in a Partial Democracy - Karen E. Ferree, Danielle F. Jung, Robert A. Dowd, Clark C. Gibson
Article
Scholars have long argued social diversity, and electoral institutions interactively shape party systems: diversity has little effect on the effective number of parties (ENP) in single member plurality (SMP) systems but increases ENP in proportional ones. We argue instead that where diversity is salient enough to generate demand for parties, it als...
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Policy makers around the world tout decentralization as an effective tool in the governance of natural resources. Despite the popularity of these reforms, there is limited scientific evidence on the environmental effects of decentralization, especially in tropical biomes. This study presents evidence on the institutional conditions under which dece...
Article
Reciprocity is central to our understanding of politics. Most political exchanges-whether they involve legislative vote trading, interbranch bargaining, constituent service, or even the corrupt exchange of public resources for private wealth-require reciprocity. But how does reciprocity arise? Do government officials learn reciprocity while holding...
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Irregularities plague elections in developing democracies. The international community spends hundreds of millions of dollars on election observation, with little robust evidence that it consistently improves electoral integrity. We conducted a randomized control trial to measure the effect of an intervention to detect and deter electoral irregular...
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While many scholars argue that ethnicity drives voting behavior in Africa, recent quantitative work finds government performance also matters. But under what conditions do Africans use ethnicity or performance to inform their vote? We argue that the importance of ethnicity and performance is conditional on whether voters evaluate co-ethnics and inc...
Article
Did foreign aid impede or catalyze democratization in Africa in the 1990s? We argue that after the Cold War, donors increased their use of technical assistance in aid packages, improving their monitoring capacity and thus reducing autocrats’ ability to use aid for patronage. To remain in power, autocrats responded by conceding political rights to t...
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Efforts to promote forest conservation have focused on two separate types of policy reforms. Decentralization reforms have attempted to make local forest governance more accountable to demands from voters. Meanwhile, Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes like the REDD program (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) hav...
Article
Full-text available
Efforts to promote forest conservation have focused on two separate types of policy reforms. Decentralization reforms have attempted to make local forest governance more accountable to demands from voters. Meanwhile, Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes like the REDD program (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) hav...
Article
This chapter examines how local governance institutions respond to decentralization and how this response affects the stability of the resource base by comparing local forest governance regimes in three Latin American countries: Bolivia, Guatemala, and Peru. It begins with an overview of the evolution of modern forestry policy in developing countri...
Chapter
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Successful development aid generates the appropriate incentives so that the time, skill, knowledge, and effort of multiple individuals create jointly valued outcomes. These incentives come from the institutions—the rules of the games of life and productive coexistence— that development aid helps to create or modify. As a society forms more robust n...
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Data from a unique nationwide exit poll of 6258 voters are employed to explore two central themes of the 2013 Kenyan Election: (1) the correlates of individual vote choice; and (2) the credibility of the electoral process. The analysis reveals several striking relationships between an individual's vote choice, personal attributes, and perceptions o...
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On 4 March 2013, roughly 12.3 million voters went to the polls in Kenya. After a protracted counting process with clear irregularities, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared sitting deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta of The National Alliance (TNA) and the Jubilee Coalition the victor in the presidential election. Ken...
Article
The effect that holding office has on the behavior of politicians is a crucial concern in the design of democratic institutions. Unfortunately, the treatment effects of holding elective office are difficult to estimate; they are likely confounded by selection bias arising from citizens self-selecting into politics and voters selecting their represe...
Article
Scholars blame high levels of ethnic heterogeneity for many social and political ills, including poor economic growth, corruption, and policy gridlock. But it can be argued that, in seeking reelection, politicians will join multiethnic coalitions to pass policies in this endeavor. Further, government expenditure increases with coalition size, as ea...
Article
Scholars blame high levels of ethnic heterogeneity for many social and political ills, including poor economic growth, corruption, and policy gridlock. But it can be argued that, in seeking reelection, politicians will join multiethnic coalitions to pass policies in this endeavor. Further, government expenditure increases with coalition size, as ea...
Article
Randomized field experiments have gained attention within the field of democracy promotion and within the social sciences as an influential tool for causal inference and a potentially powerful method of impact evaluation. With an eye towards facilitating field experimentation in democracy promotion, this article presents the first field-experimenta...
Article
Public policy decisions are increasingly made by regional governance efforts that involve diverse decision makers from multiple government units within a geographic region. These decision-making bodies face competing pressures to represent regional and local interests. We study how decision makers balance preferences for regionalism and localism wi...
Article
How do nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) affect local politics in developing democracies? Specifically, do NGOs have systematic effects on the fortunes of incumbent political parties in local elections? Existing work predicts starkly contradictory political effects: Some scholars claim that NGOs most likely help incumbents by providing services...
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In a shocking victory in Ghana’s 2008 presidential election, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) prevailed over the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) by one-half of one percentage point, after trailing far behind the NPP according to most opinion polls. What were the attributes of voters for each party? Standard theories about elect...
Article
We thank Smith et al. for their comment on our article, which extends an important discussion about the complex hypothesized relationship between corruption and biodiversity. This exchange also underscores why the conservation community should be cautious about making prescriptive judgments about that relationship on the basis of the available evid...
Article
"The residents of the settlement of Moran, located along the border of Guatemalas Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve, have lived in the area for over a century. Despite a lack of community-level rules about protecting their communal forest, limited amounts of arable land, and a high human fertility rate, Moran's forest does not appear over-explo...
Article
Dozens of countries have decentralized at least part of their natural resource policies over the last two decades. Despite the length of time that these policy experiments have been in force, there is little agreement about their effectiveness. We argue that part of this ambivalence stems from three limitations of extant studies, suggesting that fu...
Article
We argue that two problems weaken the claims of those who link corruption and the exploitation of natural resources. The first is conceptual and the second is methodological. Studies that use national-level indicators of corruption fail to note that corruption comes in many forms, at multiple levels, that may affect resource use quite differently:...
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Does a government's source of revenue explain its policy choices? The most common approach contends that policy variation results from differences in political institutions. We argue that a government's source of revenue also strongly affects its expenditures, independent of political institutions. Using local government budget data from Tanzania a...
Article
The success of efforts to decentralize governance responsibilities hinges upon the incentives of local politicians. We test this argument by studying the experiences of forestry sector decentralization in Bolivia and Guatemala. We analyze the survey responses of 200 mayors and show that local-level institutional incentives are systematically linked...
Book
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What's wrong with development aid? It is argued that much of aid's failure is related to the institutions that structure its delivery. These institutions govern the complex relationships between the main actors in the aid delivery system, and often generate a series of perverse incentives that promote inefficient and unsustainable outcomes. The the...
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Do sources of revenue affect government expenditure? Using data from local government budgets in Tanzania and Zambia, we find that local governments in both countries produce more public services as a share of their local budget as the amount of taxes the local government collects rises. Alternatively, revenue that local governments receive from so...
Article
Current studies of local resource management examine many factors thought to be associated with good resource conditions. Despite the number of studies and the importance of such resources to millions of people worldwide, a lack of theory and hypothesis testing beyond the case level limits the lessons empirical studies offer. We argue that regular...
Article
The underlying motivation for the work of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom is to promote decision making that leads to better policy outcomes. They have pursued this goal by focusing on how individuals make choices, and on how humanly created institutions constrain choice. Their approach, and their use of an amazingly wide array of theories, methods, and...
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We study regional governance in the United States. Many public policy decisions taken at the local level have implications for actors in other political jurisdictions, leading to calls for greater regional coordination. However, all regional governance efforts face a fundamental tension: local governments must give up some authority to achieve regi...
Article
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Decentralization outcomes vary with the limitations of the local government mandate, its compatibility with the central government's macroeconomic policies, and the performance of local institutions. We suggest that the way decentralization affects conservation efforts depends on how local institutions mediate the influence of structural drivers of...
Chapter
Researchers and public officials trying to improve economic performance in the postwar period believed that the core problem of development was the lack of sufficient monetary resources needed to build necessary physical infrastructure and to enhance investment in local economies (see Rostow 1960; Prebisch 1970; Huntington and Weiner 1987). If the...
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As human populations and their demands on natural resources continue to grow, citizens and officials from around the world search ever more intensely for effective solutions to environmental problems. Various factors conspire to make natural resources difficult to govern well. First, since many larger scale natural resources can be common pool reso...
Article
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"This study seeks to contribute to more nuanced expectations concerning the outcomes of decentralized forest governance. The paper argues that even in instances where local governments effectively carry out their decentralized mandate it is unreasonable to expect that decentralization will lead to conservation of all forests, all the time. Realisti...
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This article identifies the conditions leading to successful decentralized environmental management in the developing world. It focuses on Guatemala, a country where lawmakers have devolved forest protection to 331 municipalities. This study is based on an original survey of 100 randomly chosen mayors who held office between 1996 and 2000 and a dat...
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The issue of scale is critical to the understanding of data collection, data representation, data analysis and modeling in the social and biophysical sciences. Integrated assessment models must acknowledge these scale issues in order to evaluate the utility and results of these models. This awareness of scale has been widely recognized in the physi...
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This chapter reviews the literature concerned with explaining recent political change in Africa. After recounting some of the political transformations on the continent, it explores the economic and political factors most often invoked by scholars to account for these changes. The chapter concludes with a call for more comparative work, as well as...
Article
Objectives. Property rights are central to debates about natural resource policy. Governments traditionally have been seen as the appropriate custodians of natural resources for their citizens. More recently, many argue the privatization of property rights will ensure that users have incentives to manage their resources well. Common property, to th...
Book
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Despite tremendous efforts and good intentions, aid often produces disappointing results. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), along with other bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, has indicated that the lack of proper incentives generated by aid itself may be an important factor in undermining its sustainability. Th...
Article
"We argue that despite the possible differences between individuals or the characteristics of the resource they use, the regular monitoring of rules is a necessary condition for successful resource management. This is not to say that the attributes of individuals or resources do not contribute to the creation and monitoring of rules--such research,...
Article
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Tropical-biodiversity conservation has changed radically over the past generation. Until the early 1980s, conventional wisdom held that central governments should manage all conservation efforts in developing countries. Over the past 15 years or so, scholars, conservation practitioners, and policymakers have advocated an alternative approach based...
Article
Africa Today 48.1 (2001) 1 Natural environments significantly affect human behavior. Nowhere is the importance of the natural environment more apparent than in Africa. Certain soils allow particular farming practices and proscribe others. Minerals augment or limit industrial development. Wild flora and fauna present both opportunity and danger to h...
Article
"Property rights are central to debates about natural resource policy. Governments traditionally have been seen as the appropriate custodians of natural resources for their citizens. More recently, many argue the privatization of rights will ensure that users have incentives to manage their resources well. Common property, to the extent it is discu...
Article
“Messy” democratic political institutions might generate ineffective conservation policy watered down by competing interest groups and rival political parties. A hardcore environmentalist may believe that a pro-conservation dictatorship would be the type government best able to meet her goals. Such an environmental fantasy became reality in Zambia...
Article
Issues related to the scale of ecological phenomena are of fundamental importance to their study. The causes and consequences of environmental change can, of course, be measured at different levels and along multiple scales. While the natural sciences have long understood the importance of scale, research regarding scale in the social sciences has...
Article
"Governments, citizens, and scientists are increasingly concerned about the role of forests in global environmental change. Evidence is mounting from multiple studies that humans at an aggregate level are exploiting forests at unsustainable rates in tropical regions. While some deforestation can be attributed to rational and sustainable transfers o...
Article
In this paper, we address the broad question of where to locate authority for tropical biodiversity conservation. In so doing, we advance four claims. First, the current fashion for CBNRM overreaches the indisputable place of local communities in tropical conservation efforts. An unfortunate irony of the current celebration of local authority is th...
Article
The poor conservation outcomes that followed decades of intrusive resource management strategies and planned development have forced policy makers and scholars to reconsider the role of community in resource use and conservation. In a break from previous work on development which considered communities a hindrance to progressive social change, curr...
Article
Most work on environmental bureaucracies in developing countries fails to consider the effects of political institutions on bureaucratic behavior. Theories of structural choice contend that individuals and groups involved with environmental policy have a keen understanding of their particular institutional setting. In constructing an environmental...
Article
"Given recent research linking forests and the global carbon budget, forest management has become a central political issue at the national and international levels. If forests are to play a central role in reducing the threat of global warming as well as other important environmental issues, government policy toward forest management becomes pivot...
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"Community-based management is increasingly viewed as the most appropriate arrangement for promoting sustainable development of natural resources. A common assumption is that the values of community members, often assumed to be homogeneous, foster successful outcomes. However, analysts often treat these values and their homogeneity as exogenous fac...
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"Given the disappointing results of natural resource conservation policy in developing countries over the last three decades, scholars and practitioners have shifted their focus away from state-centered policies towards solutions at the local level. While these authors offer different lists of the conditions believed necessary for successful resour...
Article
From the Authors' Paper: "The residents of the settlement Moran, located along the border of the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve, have lived and farmed in the area for over a century. Despite a lack of community level rules about protecting their communal forest, a limited amount of arable land, and a strong birthrate, their forest is in no i...
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"Numerous human activities--from the cutting of firewood in rural Uganda to the production of hydrocarbons by oil refineries in southern California--have causes and consequences measured at small, medium, and large levels on spatial and temporal scales. The multilevel/multi-scale nature of the problems relating to the human dimensions of global cha...
Article
From Introduction: "The basic elements of earlier policy and scholarly writings about local communities and their residents are familiar. 'People' were an obstacle to efficient and 'rational' organization of resource use. A convincing logic undergirded the belief that the goals of conservation and the interests of local communities were in oppositi...
Article
This paper seeks to explain the politics of wildlife conservation policy in Zambia from 1973-1983 by highlighting the role of political actors and examining how institutions shaped their choices. The first section provides a short overview of the history of wildlife conservation in Zambia and its colonial predecessor, northern Rhodesia, and illustr...
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The failure of conventional wildlife management in Eastern and Southern Africa has led several countries to implement community-based wildlife programs. We examine the assumptions these initiatives make about rural hunters, and describe how the programs attempt to induce individuals away from illegal hunting. Using game theory and a case study from...
Article
"This book explores these and other puzzles that surround the politics of wildlife policy in Africa. It does so by examining the content, continuity, and change of wildlife policy in Zambia in the post-colonial period. It then compares the Zambian case with selected cases from Kenya and Zimbabwe. Four empirical questions frame this study. First, wh...
Article
This chapter focuses on the oxygen (O2) equilibrium curve of concentrated hemoglobin (Hb). This chapter discusses the functional properties of whole human blood by methods that parallel those used in studies of purified Hb solution. It describes a rapid-scanning technique that has the potential to overcome many of these problems and can give inform...
Article
"This paper contains five sections. Section one analyzes the institutions of the one-party state and their effect on policymaking. As the head of both government and party, President Kaunda emerged as the dominant policymaker in the Second Republic. The second section describes the decline of the Zambian economy, and the simultaneous rise of the wi...
Article
"In this paper, I explain why the UNIP government failed to follow its own preindependence calls for giving Zambians citizens greater access to wildlife resources. More importantly, I explain how UNIP survived this widely unpopular stance in a multiparty system with a universal franchise. I argue that the structure of Zambia's political institution...
Article
"Many scholars and practitioners see the activities of public agencies as remedies to society's collective dilemmas. Work in the new institutional economics, however, has challenged this conceptualization. Rather than view bureaucracies as solutions to collective action problems, some new institutionalists conceptualize public agencies as a means b...
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Previous studies of the erythropoietic response to hypoxia in high-altitude natives suggest that the hematocrit and hemoglobin values in Himalayan natives (Sherpas) are lower than expected for the altitude, perhaps because of a genetic adaptation. However, differences in sampling techniques and experimental methods make comparisons difficult. Our s...
Article
Oxygen equilibrium curves of 48 healthy adult subjects have been measured by the method of Rossi-Bernardi et al. (Clin. Chem. 21: 1747, 1975), in which H2O2 is gradually added to a sample of deoxygenated blood that contains an excess of catalase. The mean P50 for nonsmokers was 26.9 Torr and the distribution of values was slightly skewed to the rig...
Article
We develop and apply a theoretical framework for understanding how local governments respond to the perceived costs and benefits of intergovernmental cooperation. Our theory connects local government decisions to economic and political costs and benefits at both the local and regional levels, as well as the institutional context in which collaborat...
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International development agencies invest heavily in institution building in fragile states, including expensive interventions supporting democratic elections. Yet little evidence exists on whether democratic elections enhance the domestic legitimacy of governments, in the sense that they increase the consent of residents to be governed. Using the...
Article
Full-text available
The success of efforts to decentralize governance responsibilities hinges upon the incentives of local politicians. We test this argument by studying the experiences of forestry sector decentralization in Bolivia and Guatemala. We analyze the survey responses of 200 mayors that local-level institutional incentives are systematically linked to varia...
Article
Full-text available
"Dozens of African countries experienced political liberalization in the late 1980s and 1990s. One after another, undemocratic regimes on the continent began allowing the formation of opposition parties, a freer press, and multiparty elections. Despite such extraordinary, continentwide shifts in the political landscape, analysts have had little suc...
Article
"In this paper, I examine Zambia's wildlife policy from 1983-1991 by focusing on the construction of ADMADE and LIRDP. I argue that the institutions of both programs can be explained by exploring the strategic choices of the program's designers, who confronted a set of political constraints and opportunities generated by the one-party state. Such a...

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