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Political Institutions and Policy Outcomes in Colombia: The Effects of the 1991 Constitution

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  • Mauricio Cardenas
  • 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 by 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 has gained in terms of representation. However, political transaction costs have increased, making cooperation harder to achieve. We show that this has been typically the case in fiscal policy, where the use of rigid rules, the constitutionalization of some policies, and a 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 that were formally delegated to the technocracy, such as monetary policy and regulation of public utilities, policies have been more adaptable to economic shocks, delivering better outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Mauricio Cardenas & Roberto Junguito & Mónica Pachón, 2006. "Political Institutions and Policy Outcomes in Colombia: The Effects of the 1991 Constitution," Research Department Publications 3198, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3198
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    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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