Do Institutions Affect the Attitudes and Behavior of Constituents? Evidence from an Environmental Management Program in India

This project investigates some of the most basic puzzles in the social sciences: How and to what extent do institutions affect individual attitudes and behavior? The central aim is to examine how individuals' exposure to and involvement in a new local resource governance program in rural northern India changed their attitudes about and activities related to forests and the environment. The data collection includes surveys of villagers in treatment and comparison villages in two time periods, questionnaires completed by village officials, and official information about the study sites. The dataset consists of information about respondent characteristics (e.g., demographics, activities in forests) and village characteristics (e.g., population size, forest conditions). These data allow for inferences about the extent to which new institutions caused attitudes and behavior to change, and about what factors were most influential.


Elisabeth Gerber, Center for Political Studies (Michigan PI); Arun Agrawal, University of Michigan (Michigan Co-PI); and Ashwini Chhatre, University of Illinois (Illinois PI)

American National Science Foundation

Project Period
April 19, 2010 - April 30, 2013