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Political Institutions, State Capabilities and Public Policy - International Evidence

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  • Carlos Scartascini
  • Ernesto Stein
  • Mariano Tommasi

Abstract

This paper introduces preliminary evidence from a cross-country database of policy characteristics and potential uses of that database. While most databases have emphasized either the content of policies (e.g., size of government deficits) or countries’ formal institutions (e.g., political regime, electoral system), the variables in this database reflect the policymaking capabilities of different polities. The paper attempts to explain these policy characteristics as depending on the workings of political institutions, using a logic emphasizing intertemporal political compromise. The paper also contrasts this logic with alternatives such as the veto players approach. The paper concludes by suggesting the use of these policy characteristics or state capabilities as explanatory variables for the effectiveness of public spending in various social areas.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4608.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4608

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Keywords: Political institutions; Public policies; Government capabilities; Veto players; Intertemporal cooperation; Development; Human Development Index; Public expenditures; Policy index; Adaptability; Stability; Judicial independence; Party institutionalization; Congress capabilities; Cabinet stability;

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References

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  1. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Drazen, Allan, 1998. "Uncertain Duration Of Reform," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 443-455, December.
  2. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mariano Tommasi & Pablo T. Spiller & Ernesto Stein, 2003. "Political Institutions, Policymaking Processes, and Policy Outcomes. An Intertemporal Transactions Framework," Working Papers 59, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jul 2003.
  4. Eduardo Lora, 2001. "Structural Reforms in Latin America: What Has Been Reformed and How to Measure It," Research Department Publications 4293, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  5. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
  6. Miguel Braun & Luciano di Gresia, 2004. "Towards Effective Social Insurance in Latin America: The Importance of Countercyclical Fiscal Policy," Public Economics 0410001, EconWPA.
  7. Eduardo Lora, 2007. "The State of State Reform in Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6642.
  8. Ludwig van den Hauwe, 2005. "Constitutional economics," Public Economics 0508010, EconWPA, revised 19 Aug 2005.
  9. Carlos Scartascini, 2007. "The Institutional Determinants of Political Transactions," IDB Publications 6852, Inter-American Development Bank.
  10. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bardhan, Pranab, 1996. "Efficiency, Equity and Poverty Alleviation: Policy Issues in Less Developed Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1344-56, September.
  12. Witold J. Henisz, 2002. "The institutional environment for infrastructure investment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 355-389.
  13. Mariano Tommasi & Pablo T. Spiller, 2000. "The Institutional Foundations of Public Policy: A Transactions Approach with Application to Argentina," Working Papers 29, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised May 2000.
  14. Levy, Brian & Spiller, Pablo T, 1994. "The Institutional Foundations of Regulatory Commitment: A Comparative Analysis of Telecommunications Regulation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 201-46, October.
  15. Avinash Dixit & Gene M. Grossman & Faruk Gul, 2000. "The Dynamics of Political Compromise," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 531-568, June.
  16. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2006. "Policy Volatility and Growth," Research Department Publications 4481, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  17. Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Policy Uncertainty and Private Investment in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 2999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  19. Carlos Scartascini & Ernesto H. Stein & Mariano Tommasi, 2008. "Veto Players, Intertemporal Interactions and Policy Adaptability: How Do Political Institutions Work?," IDB Publications 39558, Inter-American Development Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Javier Mejía Cubillos, 2011. "Reflexión Sobre Los Sistemas Partidistas, La Estabilidad De Las Políticas Y El Desarrollo Económico," Contribuciones a las Ciencias Sociales, Grupo Eumed.net (Universidad de Málaga), issue 2011-11, november.
  2. Cingolani, Luciana, 2013. "The State of State Capacity: a review of concepts, evidence and measures," MERIT Working Papers 053, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  3. David Hulme & Antonio Savoia & Kunal Sen, 2014. "Governance as a global development goal? Setting, measuring and monitoring the Post-2015 Development Agenda," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series esid-032-14, BWPI, The University of Manchester.

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