International or national implementers: who is better? Evidence from a framing experiment

Kaplan, Kaplan / Jana Kuhnt / Katharina Richert
External Publications (2023)

in: Review of Development Economics, first published 30.05.2023

Open access

Behavioral economics has shown that changing small features in framing a context or action may drastically change behavior. A key factor characterizing most development interventions is the salience of either a local or an international implementer. Using the setup of an intervention conducted in Indonesia, we show that the study population in the Acehnese context exhibits higher levels of support for the project if the participation of international actors is highlighted. We find that previous experience with the respective actor is pivotal. Qualitative evidence suggests that internationals' perceived skills drive results, highlighting the importance of strengthened local capacities for positive experiences with local implementers. Overall, the study underlines the benefits of linking framing experiments to the actual experiences of respondents to generate insights into the real world.

About the authors

Kuhnt, Jana

Development Economist


Kaplan, Lennart



Further experts

Faus Onbargi, Alexia

Political Science 

Klingebiel, Stephan

Political Science 

Scholtes, Fabian


Strupat, Christoph