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Quantifying the Coherence of Development Policy Priorities


  • Omar A. Guerrero
  • Gonzalo Casta~neda


Over the last 30 years, the concept of policy coherence for development has received especial attention among academics, practitioners and international organizations. However, its quantification and measurement remain elusive. To address this challenge, we develop a theoretical and empirical framework to measure the coherence of policy priorities for development. Our procedure takes into account the country-specific constraints that governments face when trying to reach specific development goals. Hence, we put forward a new definition of policy coherence where context-specific efficient resource allocations are employed as the baseline to construct an index. To demonstrate the usefulness and validity of our index, we analyze the cases of Mexico, Korea and Estonia, three developing countries that, arguably, joined the OECD with the aim of coherently establishing policies that could enable a catch-up process. We find that Korea shows significant signs of policy coherence, Estonia seems to be in the process of achieving it, and Mexico has unequivocally failed. Furthermore, our results highlight the limitations of assessing coherence in terms of naive benchmark comparisons using development-indicator data. Altogether, our framework sheds new light in a promising direction to develop bespoke analytic tools to meet the 2030 agenda.

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  • Omar A. Guerrero & Gonzalo Casta~neda, 2019. "Quantifying the Coherence of Development Policy Priorities," Papers 1902.00430,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1902.00430

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Esma Nur Cinicioglu & Gündüz Ulusoy & Şule Önsel Ekici & Füsun Ülengin & Burç Ülengin, 2017. "Exploring the interaction between competitiveness of a country and innovation using Bayesian networks," Innovation and Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 175-209, July.
    2. Antonio Sianes, 2017. "Shedding Light On Policy Coherence for Development: A Conceptual Framework," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 134-146, January.
    3. Michael King & Frank Barry & Alan Matthews, 2010. "Policy Coherence for Development: Five Challenges," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp335, IIIS, revised Aug 2010.
    4. Pedercini, Matteo & Barney, Gerald O., 2010. "Dynamic analysis of interventions designed to achieve millennium development goals (MDG): The case of Ghana," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 89-99, June.
    5. Castañeda, Gonzalo & Chávez-Juárez, Florian & Guerrero, Omar A., 2018. "How do governments determine policy priorities? Studying development strategies through spillover networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 335-361.
    6. Sinani, Evis & Meyer, Klaus E., 2004. "Spillovers of technology transfer from FDI: the case of Estonia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 445-466, September.
    7. Lidia Ceriani & Chiara Gigliarano, 2016. "Multidimensional well-being: A Bayesian Networks approach," Working Papers 399, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
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