Quienes SomosTufts University

Contests as a Tool for Development

Evidence from Peru 

A Thesis submitted by Mikal S. Davis in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Economics



The methodology Pachamama Raymi uses contests as one of the tools to motivate people and to achieve that a very high number of families and their organizations adopt a great many innovations. Though many now are convinced that contests can be a valuable tool there is still much to learn about their effectiveness.  "Universidad de Tufts" and "Innovations for Poverty Action" investigated several aspects of the effectiveness of contests in a development setting: 


"I use a case study from Peru where contests are implemented by giving households numeric scores based on how well they have adopted improved agricultural, sanitation and agribusiness technologies. This paper analyzes the incentive effects of these contests by testing hypotheses generated by theory. ... The results suggest that contests influence behavior in predictable ways and therefore have the potential to be an additional policy option for development organizations. ... This paper is one of the first empirical studies of contests in a development setting and therefore attempts to widen the scope of the non-experimental evidence by extending the analysis of contests to rural development."