Checks and balances: an assessment of the institutional separtion of political powers in Colombia
Abstract: In this chapter, we evaluate the institutional and legal structure of the Colombian government. In particular, we want to assess how a system of institutional checks and balances can be structured to promote the rule of law, preserve property rights, and stimulate economic growth. The 1991 Constitution indeed makes commendable commitments to these objectives. Yet, due to its institutional structure, Colombia is governed in a manner that is both unchecked and unbalanced. The Constitution tried to «constitutionalize», or put into the basic law of the land, a welfare state system that emulates that of Canada or Sweden. Yet, neither of these countries has deemed it necessary to put such rules into the constitution of their countries. The result was an enormously long document that attempted to reassure all parties that the future would be to their liking. For example, Article 58, which permits uncompensated expropriation for reasons of «equity», might be a substantial deterrent to investment. Our examination of the Constitution of 1991 sounds a warning about the current peace process. The nation´s long run economic health may be seriously impaired if peace is bought at the price of widespread concessions with regard to either the process of decision-making about the economy or to the content of future government economic policies. One may buy transitory tranquility, which may not translate in to lasting peace, at the price of long-term instability and turmoil. The implied tradeoff may be most undesirable. We make recommendations for institutional reform, which aim to mitigate clientelist and populist trends in Colombian politics. An overall smaller congress is suggested. To enhance policymaking by reducing the scope for gridlock, we propose measures such as long-term appointments and ballot accountability that eliminate distortions to the voting incentives of both judges and lawmakers. Also, suggestions are made to promote citizen referendum initiatives, specialized courts and executive agenda setting powers. Finally, procedures are set forth to limit undue deliberations by the judiciary and to induce stability through status-quo bias.
|Date of creation:||01 Aug 2000|
|Contact details of provider:|| |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-286, March.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999.
"The size and scope of government:: Comparative politics with rational politicians,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 699-735, April.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1998. "The Size and Scope of Government: Comparative Politics with Rational Politicians," Papers 658, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "The Size and Scope of Government: Comparative Politics With Rational Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2051, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1998. "The size and scope of government: Comparative politics with rational politicians," Seminar Papers 658, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1998. "The Size and Scope of Government: Comparative Politics with Rational Politicians," NBER Working Papers 6848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chari, V V & Jones, Larry E & Marimon, Ramon, 1997. "The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 957-976, December.
- V. V. Chari & Larry E. Jones & Ramon Marimon, 1997. "The economics of split-ticket voting in representative democracies," Working Papers 582, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-277, Fall.
- Geoffrey Brennan & Alan Hamlin, 1994. "A Revisionist View of the Separation of Powers," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 6(3), pages 345-368, July.
- Brennan, G. & Hamlin, A., 1993. "A revisionist view of the separation of powers," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9314, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
- Gely, Rafael & Spiller, Pablo T., 1992. "The political economy of supreme court constitutional decisions: The case of Roosevelt's court-packing plan," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 45-67, March.
- Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-1341, November.
- Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 2000. "Polarized platforms and moderate policies with checks and balances," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 1-20, January.
- Poole, Keith T. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "Are legislators ideologues or the agents of constituents?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 707-717, April.
- Spiller, Pablo T & Tiller, Emerson H, 1997. "Decision Costs and the Strategic Design of Administrative Process and Judicial Review," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 347-370, June.
- Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
- Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, "undated". "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Spiller, Pablo T, 1990. "Politicians, Interest Groups, and Regulators: A Multiple-Principals Agency Theory of Regulation, or "Let Them Be Bribed."," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 65-101, April. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)