IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Bureaucratic Reform In Developing Countries: A Comparison of Presidential and Parliamentary Rule

Listed author(s):
  • Delia M. Boylan
Registered author(s):

    While the study of comparative bureaucratic organization within the advanced, industrial democracies has made significant progress in recent years (Moe and Caldwell, 1994), we have a much thinner understanding of the causes and consequences of bureaucratic structure in the developing world. This paper begins to advance this research agenda by comparing central bank reform in strongly presidentialist Venezuela with Poland’s system of multi-party parliamentary rule, in order to generate two hypotheses about both the timing and persistence of bureaucratic reform across different institutional settings. First, I maintain that, fearing agency loss and diminished policy-making flexibility, executives in presidential democracies have incentives to wait until the very end of their term before insulating their policy preferences in an institutional form. In contrast, the inherently unstable nature of multi party coalitions within most parliamentary systems argues for undertaking the insulation task right at the beginning of one’s term in office. Second, I argue that because of their extreme concentration of power, Latin America’s presidential democracies are highly susceptible to institutional instability, while the multiple veto gates embedded in Eastern Europe’s parliamentary democracies render them inherently more resilient to subsequent tampering by politicians. The paper concludes by noting the implications the analysis has for the current literature on policy reform.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago in its series Working Papers with number 9914.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Sep 1999
    Handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:9914
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    1155 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

    Phone: 773-702-8400
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:9914. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Eleanor Cartelli)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.