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The Institutional Foundations of Public Policy: A Transactions Approach with Application to Argentina

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Author Info

  • Mariano Tommasi

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres & Center of Studies for Institutional Development)

  • Pablo T. Spiller

    (University of California at Berkeley & Center of Studies for Institutional Development)

Abstract

Public policies are the outcomes of complex intertemporal exchanges among politicians. The basic institutional characteristics of a country constitute the framework within which those transactions are accomplished. We develop a transactions theory to understand the ways in which political institutions affect the transactions that political actors are able to undertake, and hence the policies that emerge. We argue that Argentina is a case in which the functioning of political institutions has been such that it prevented the capacity to undertake efficient intertemporal political exchanges. We use positive political theory and transaction cost economics to explain the workings of Argentine political institutions, and to show how that maps into low-quality policies.

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File URL: ftp://webacademicos.udesa.edu.ar/pub/econ/doc29.pdf
File Function: First version, 2000
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia in its series Working Papers with number 29.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: May 2000
Date of revision: May 2000
Handle: RePEc:sad:wpaper:29

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Related research

Keywords: institutions; public policy; transaction approach; Argentina;

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References

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  1. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
  2. Juan Pablo Nicolini & Josefina Posadas & Juan Sanguinetti & Pablo Sanguinetti & Mariano Tommasi, 2002. "Decentralization, Fiscal Discipline in Sub-National Governments and the Bailout Problem: The Case of Argentina," Research Department Publications 3160, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Ramseyer, J Mark & Rasmusen, Eric B, 1997. "Judicial Independence in a Civil Law Regime: The Evidence from Japan," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 259-86, October.
  4. Mariano Tommasi & Matias Iaryczower & Pablo T. Spiller, 2002. "Judicial Decision Making in Unstable Environments, Argentina 1935-1998," Working Papers 30, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Oct 2002.
  5. Palmer, Matthew S R, 1995. "Toward an Economics of Comparative Political Organization: Examining Ministerial Responsibility," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 164-88, April.
  6. Moe, Terry M, 1990. "Political Institutions: The Neglected Side of the Story," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(0), pages 213-53.
  7. Douglass C. North, 1990. "A Transaction Cost Theory of Politics," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 2(4), pages 355-367, October.
  8. McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-77, Fall.
  9. Jones, Mark P. & Sanguinetti, Pablo & Tommasi, Mariano, 2000. "Politics, institutions, and fiscal performance in a federal system: an analysis of the Argentine provinces," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 305-333, April.
  10. 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.
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