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Political credibility and economic growth in less developed countries

Author

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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

Suggested Citation

  • Aymo Brunetti & Beatrice Weder, 1994. "Political credibility and economic growth in less developed countries," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 23-43, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:5:y:1994:i:1:p:23-43
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02393254
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. De Long, J Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei, 1993. "Princes and Merchants: European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 671-702, October.
    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 473-491, June.
    4. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1988. "Notes on Credibility and Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 2790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmet Faruk AYSAN & Mustapha Kamel NABLI & Marie-Ange VÉGANZONÈS-VAROUDAKIS, 2007. "Governance Institutions And Private Investment: An Application To The Middle East And North Africa," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 45(3), pages 339-377.
    2. Ahmet Faruk Aysan & …mer Faruk Baykal & Marie-Ange Véganzonès–Varoudakis, 2011. "The Effects of Convergence in Governance on Capital Accumulation in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Countries," Chapters,in: Does Economic Governance Matter?, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Voigt, Stefan & Ebeling, Michael & Blume, Lorenz, 2007. "Improving credibility by delegating judicial competence--the case of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 348-373, March.
    6. 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.
    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.
    8. Raj Mahendra & Rinastiti Elisa & Bende-Nabende Anthony & Slater Jim & Mehanna Rock-Antoine, 2002. "Global Economy Quarterly, Issue 1," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-109, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Ahmet Faruk Aysan & Mustapha Kamel Nabli & Marie-Ange Véganzonès–Varoudakis, 2008. "The Role of Governance Institutions in Private Investment Decisions: The Case of Middle East and North Africa," Working Papers 384, Economic Research Forum, revised 01 Jan 2008.
    11. Dailami, Monsoor, 2000. "Financial openness, democracy, and redistributive policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2372, The World Bank.
    12. Raghbendra Jha & Hari K Nagarajan & Anirudh Tagat, 2017. "Bribery, democracy and their impact on governance and welfare: The case of rural India," ASARC Working Papers 2017-03, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    D72; D78; N46; O40;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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