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Institutions and government controls

  • Esfahani, Hadi Salehi

This paper develops a model of government policy toward industrial control and regulation that sheds light on the determinants of differential country experiences in terms of organizational arrangement and enterprise performance. In contrast to the model developed by Shleifer and Vishny (1994 and 1998), which suggests that government controls over firms come about when politicians can use public funds to buy off the managers and solicit their cooperation in politically-motivated redistribution of rents, the present model shows that it may be the ability to use the government's regulatory powers at discretion that encourages politicians to impose controls on firms and redistribute their rents. The model implies that the politicians' appetite for intervention tends to be greater when the cost of collecting and using public funds is higher, which is the opposite of what the Shleifer-Vishny model predicts. The present model helps explain the puzzling observation that countries with poor institutions are more likely to impose extensive controls on production and maintain large and inefficient public sectors. The model also sheds light on a variety of other stylized facts and puzzles and offers new hypotheses to be tested.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 63 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 197-229

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:63:y:2000:i:2:p:197-229
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  17. Bhaskar, V & Khan, Mushtaq, 1995. "Privatization and Employment: A Study of the Jute Industry in Bangladesh," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 267-73, March.
  18. Hjalmarsson, Lennart & Veiderpass, Ann, 1992. " Productivity in Swedish Electricity Retail Distribution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(0), pages S193-205, Supplemen.
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  20. Gordon, Roger H. & Bai, Chong-En & Li, David D., 1999. "Efficiency losses from tax distortions vs. government control," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 1095-1103, April.
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  22. Hart, Oliver & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-61, November.
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