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Taking Institutions Seriously: Rethinking the Political Economy of Development in the Philippines




Despite the current fashion for issues such as institutional transparency or corruption, the modern policy development literature does too little to integrate the core ideas of modern political economy with standard economic theory. Little is done to distinguish the advice given to developing countries especially on macroeconomic aggregates from that given to richer nations with stronger institutional environments. The essay uses the Philippines as a case study to suggest what is wrong with leading prescriptions. It suggests a framework that starts from a basic analysis of sectoral distortions to identify the areas where ideal reforms are likely to have the most impact and then pairs such analysis with more institutionally consistent considerations to see which second best reforms are most likely to be implemented. The focus should be on incentive compatible, self-enforcing policy mechanisms which usually imply greater market access and decentralized competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Nye, John, 2011. "Taking Institutions Seriously: Rethinking the Political Economy of Development in the Philippines," Asian Development Review, Asian Development Bank, vol. 28(1), pages 1-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbadr:0001

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ilo:ilowps:486999 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:tpr:asiaec:v:16:y:2017:i:2:p:55-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Yap, Josef T. & Abad, Anthony R.A. & Gonzales, Kathrina G. & Rosellon, Maureen Ane D., 2012. "Unfair Trade Practices in the Philippines," Discussion Papers DP 2012-39, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    4. Yap, Josef T. & Majuca, Ruperto P., 2013. "Aspirations and Challenges for Economic and Social Development in the Philippines Toward 2030," Discussion Papers DP 2013-27, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    5. Kristine Laura S. Canales, 2014. "The effects of a minimum wage on employment outcomes: an application of regression discontinuity design," Philippine Review of Economics, University of the Philippines School of Economics and Philippine Economic Society, vol. 51(2), pages 97-120, December.
    6. Yap, Josef T., 2014. "ASEAN Community 2015 : managing integration for better jobs and shared prosperity in the Philippines," ILO Working Papers 994869993402676, International Labour Organization.

    More about this item


    development; institutional economics; Philippines; policy reform;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East


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