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Political credibility and economic growth in less developed countries

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  • Aymo Brunetti
  • Beatrice Weder

Abstract

While the mainstream of economic development theory focuses on the efficiency of policy measures, the role of the credibility of these measures is rarely analyzed. In this paper we argue that in less developed countries the problem of establishing the credibility of policy measures is at least as important as the problem of choosing the efficient policy solution. We claim that many of the difficulties less developed countries face can be understood in terms of lack of effective control on the discretionary power of governments, which ultimately leads to policies that are not credible. The private sector anticipates large swings in policies and reacts by withholding its resources. Symptoms of these credibility problems in less developed countries include the size of the informal sector, capital flight, and the reluctance of investors to commit capital. All of these reactions contribute to the slow economic growth in these countries. This paper concludes that establishing strategies for the control of state discretionary power is a crucial precondition for overcoming these problems and generating long term economic growth. Copyright George Mason University 1994

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF02393254
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Constitutional Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 5 (1994)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 23-43

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Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:5:y:1994:i:1:p:23-43

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102866

Related research

Keywords: D72; D78; N46; O40;

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References

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  1. Paul Romer, 1991. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  3. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Huff, W. G. & Dewit, G. & Oughton, C., 2001. "Credibility and Reputation Building in the Developmental State: A Model with East Asian Applications," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 711-724, April.
  2. Mustapha Kamel Nabli, 2007. "Breaking the Barriers to Higher Economic Growth : Better Governance and Deeper Reforms in the Middle East and North Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6914, January.
  3. Aysan, Ahmet Faruk & Nabli, Mustapha Kamel & Veganzones-Varoudakis, Marie-Ange, 2006. "Governance and private investment in the Middle East and North Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3934, The World Bank.
  4. Ahmet Faruk Aysan & Zeynep Ersoy & M-A Veganzones-Varoudakis, 2007. "Does the Perception of Governance Institutions Matter for Private Investment: The Case of Middle East and North Africa," Working Papers 2007/03, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  5. Ahmet Faruk Aysan & M. K. Nabli & M-A Veganzones-Varoudakis, 2006. "Governance Institutions and Private Investment: An Application to the Middle East and North Africa," Working Papers 2006/08, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  6. Dailami, Monsoor, 2000. "Financial openness, democracy, and redistributive policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2372, The World Bank.
  7. Ahmet Faruk Aysan & M-A Veganzones-Varoudakis, 2007. "How Do Political and Governance Institutions Affect Private Investment Decisions? An Application to the Middle East and North Africa," Working Papers 2007/05, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.

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