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Political institutions and policy outcomes in Colombia : the effects of the 1991 Constitution

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  • Mauricio Cárdenas Santa María
  • Roberto Junguito
  • Mónica Pachón

Abstract

The 1991 Colombian constitution strengthened the checks and balances of the political system by enhancing the role of Congress and the Constitutional Court, while somewhat limiting the powers of the president (who nonetheless remains extremely powerful even for Latin American standards). As a consequence of the larger number of relevant players, and the removal of barriers that restricted political participation, the political system gained in terms of representation. However, political transaction costs increased, making cooperation harder to achieve. We show that this has been typically the case of fiscal policy, where the use of rigid rules, the constitutionalization of some policies, and reduction in legislative success rates -due to the presence of a more divided and fragmented congress- have limited the adaptability and flexibility of policies. In contrast, in other areas of policy -such as monetary policy and regulation of public utilities- that were formally delegated to the technocracy, policies have been more adaptable to economic shocks, delivering better outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Mauricio Cárdenas Santa María & Roberto Junguito & Mónica Pachón, 2005. "Political institutions and policy outcomes in Colombia : the effects of the 1991 Constitution," Working Papers Series. Documentos de Trabajo 3344, Fedesarrollo.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000123:003344
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcela Meléndez Arjona & Arturo Harker Roa, 2008. "Revisiting economic growth in Colombia. A microeconomic perspective," Working Papers Series. Documentos de Trabajo 9137, Fedesarrollo.
    2. Marcela Eslava & Marcela Melendez, 2009. "Politics, Policies and the Dynamics of Aggregate Productivity in Colombia," Research Department Publications 4633, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    3. Scartascini, Carlos & Stein, Ernesto H. & Tommasi, Mariano, 2008. "Veto Players, Intertemporal Interactions and Policy Adaptability: How Do Political Institutions Work?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3352, Inter-American Development Bank.
    4. Corrales, Javier & Hernández, Gonzalo & Salgado, Juan Camilo, 2020. "Oil and regime type in Latin America: Reversing the line of causality," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    5. Rafael Gómez R. & Mauricio Olivera & Mario A. Velasco R., 2009. "Implementing a subnational results-oriented management and budgeting system. Lessons from Medellín, Colombia," Working Papers Series. Documentos de Trabajo 9074, Fedesarrollo.
    6. Benjamín Afanador Vargas, 2007. "Política educativa y financiación de la educación: posibles efectos para el desarrollo humano en Colombia, 1990- 2004," Revista Equidad y Desarrollo, Universidad de la Salle, April.
    7. Benjamín Afanador Vargas, 2006. "Tendencias de política económica y política educativa en los planes de desarrollo 1990-2004," Revista Equidad y Desarrollo, Universidad de la Salle, issue 6, April.
    8. Carlos Scartascini & Mariano Tommasi & Ernesto H. Stein, 2008. "Un Enfoque Intertemporal Interactions and Policy Adaptability: How Do Political Institutions Work?," Research Department Publications 4594, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    9. Mauricio Olivera & Monica Pachon & Guillermo Perry, 2010. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Reform: The Case of Colombia, 1986-2006," Research Department Publications 4674, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Instituciones políticas; Política fiscal; Participación política.Political institutions; policymaking; policy outcomes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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