Independent Regulatory Agencies in Emerging Economies
While the diffusion of independent regulatory agencies (IRAs) across economically advanced countries has attracted much scholarly attention in recent years, systematic work on their spread across developing countries is still scarce. In an effort to address this gap in literature, this paper aims to analyze the diffusion of regulatory agencies in emerging economies in Latin America, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe. At this early stage of our research, we aim to emprically map out regulatory agencies in economic regulation sectors (e.g. competition, finance, and utilities/infrastructure) enjoying some degree of autonomy or independence in emerging economies, rather than limiting our focus solely on those that meet all the criteria for independence in the strictest definition of the term. Such exploratory analysis constitutes the first step towards studying processes of diffusion in general and the mechanisms that lead to the creation of regulatory agencies in these economies in particular. The second objective of this paper is to examine the mechanisms which we expect to be at work in the spread of IRAs in the selected emerging economies. We argue that despite the creation of a number of agencies in the countries concerned before 1990, diffusion has become evident and “interdependent”, as opposed to spurious in the 1990s.
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