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Institutional Arrangements and Fiscal Performance: The Latin American Experience

  • Ernesto H. Stein
  • Ernesto Talvi
  • Alejandro Grisanti

This paper considers whether institutional factors, in this instance electoral systems and procedures, affect Latin American countries` fiscal performance as measured by the size of the public sector, fiscal deficits, the size of the public debt, and the degree of procyclality of fiscal policy. The authors find that electoral systems characterized by large district magnitude and high political fragmentation have larger governments, larger deficits, and more procyclical fiscal policies. Transparent and hierarchical budget procedures, on the other hand, lead to lower deficits and levels of debt.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4110.

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Date of creation: Feb 1998
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4110
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  1. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Do Budget Rules Work?," NBER Working Papers 5550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edin, P-A. & Ohlsson, H., 1990. "Political Determinants Of Budget Deficits: Coalition Effects Versus Minority Effects," Papers 1990k, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  4. Mark Hallerberg & Jurgen von Hagen, 1997. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union," NBER Working Papers 6341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. von Hagen, Jurgen, 1991. "A note on the empirical effectiveness of formal fiscal restraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 199-210, March.
  6. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  7. Persson, T. & Roland, G. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Papers 633, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  8. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  9. International Monetary Fund, 1996. "Budget Processes and Commitment to Fiscal Discipline," IMF Working Papers 96/78, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Barry Eichengreen and Tamim Bayoumi., 1993. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Restrictions: Implications for Europe from the United States," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-020, University of California at Berkeley.
  11. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ricardo Hausmann & Alberto Alesina & Rudolf Hommes & Ernesto H. Stein, 1998. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Performance in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4160, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  13. Hallerberg, Mark & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1997. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits within the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 1555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Rudolf Hommes, 1996. "Evolution and Rationality of Budget Institutions in Colombia," Research Department Publications 4024, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  16. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  17. Roubini, Nouriel, 1991. "Economic and political determinants of budget deficits in developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1, Supple), pages S49-S72, March.
  18. Eichengreen, B., 1992. "Should the Maastricht Treaty be Saved?," Princeton Studies in International Economics 74, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  19. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann & Jürgen Von Hagen, 1999. "Reforming Budgetary Institutions in Latin America: The Case for a National Fiscal Council," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 415-442, October.
  20. Rogowski, Ronald, 1987. "Trade and the variety of democratic institutions," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(02), pages 203-223, March.
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