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Political Institutions, State Capabilities and Public Policy: International Evidence

  • Carlos Scartascini
  • Ernesto H. Stein
  • Mariano Tommasi

This paper introduces preliminary evidence from a cross-country database of policy characteristics and potential uses of that database. While most databases have emphasized either the content of policies (e.g., size of government deficits) or countries formal institutions (e.g., political regime, electoral system), the variables in this database reflect the policymaking capabilities of different polities. The paper attempts to explain these policy characteristics as depending on the workings of political institutions, using a logic emphasizing intertemporal political compromise. The paper also contrasts this logic with alternatives such as the veto players approach. The paper concludes by suggesting the use of these policy characteristics or state capabilities as explanatory variables for the effectiveness of public spending in various social areas.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 6757.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:6757
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  1. Carlos Scartascini, 2007. "The Institutional Determinants of Political Transactions," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6852, Inter-American Development Bank.
  2. Carlos Scartascini & Ernesto H. Stein & Mariano Tommasi, 2008. "Veto Players, Intertemporal Interactions and Policy Adaptability: How Do Political Institutions Work?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 39558, Inter-American Development Bank.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Policy Uncertainty and Private Investment in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 2999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  6. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  7. Levy, Brian & Spiller, Pablo T, 1994. "The Institutional Foundations of Regulatory Commitment: A Comparative Analysis of Telecommunications Regulation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 201-46, October.
  8. Bardhan, Pranab, 1996. "Efficiency, Equity and Poverty Alleviation: Policy Issues in Less Developed Countries," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt3jq4h9sc, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. Miguel Braun & Luciano di Gresia, 2003. "Towards Effective Social Insurance in Latin America: The Importance of Countercyclical Fiscal Policy," Research Department Publications 4333, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  10. Eduardo Lora, 2001. "Structural reforms in Latin America: What has been reformed and how to measure it?," Research Department Publications 4287, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  11. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Drazen, Allan, 1998. "Uncertain Duration Of Reform," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 443-455, December.
  12. Witold J. Henisz, 2002. "The institutional environment for infrastructure investment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 355-389.
  13. Eduardo Lora, 2007. "The State of State Reform in Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6642, December.
  14. Pablo T. Spiller, 2003. "The Institutional Foundations of Public Policy: A Transactions Approach with Application to Argentina," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 281-306, October.
  15. Mariano Tommasi & Pablo T. Spiller & Ernesto Stein, 2003. "Political Institutions, Policymaking Processes, and Policy Outcomes. An Intertemporal Transactions Framework," Working Papers 59, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jul 2003.
  16. Ludwig van den Hauwe, 2005. "Constitutional economics," Public Economics 0508010, EconWPA, revised 19 Aug 2005.
  17. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2006. "Policy Volatility and Growth," Research Department Publications 4481, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  18. Avinash Dixit & Gene M. Grossman & Faruk Gul, 2000. "The Dynamics of Political Compromise," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 531-568, June.
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