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Social Sector Reform in Latin America and the Role of Unions

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  • Daniel Maceira
  • Maria Victoria Murillo

Abstract

This paper analyzes the reaction of teachers` and doctors` unions to a series of social sector reforms in the region, including administrative decentralization, provider payment mechanisms, and the introduction of performance evaluation and private provision. It combines the literature of economics and political science to understand the conditions that shape different patterns of union behavior and their effect on policy implementation. The paper suggests that the main conditions influencing union behavior in the health sector are related to the structure of the market (size and level of competition) due to the predominance of the private-public mix in its employment. In education, where the public sector is the main employer, political alignments and the organizational features of teachers` associations also play an important role in explaining the behavior of providers` organizations. Considering the exogenous character of most of these variables, the paper concludes by making some policy suggestions to align the objectives of unions and policymakers through regulatory reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Maceira & Maria Victoria Murillo, 2001. "Social Sector Reform in Latin America and the Role of Unions," Research Department Publications 4275, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4275
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    File URL: http://www.iadb.org/research/pub_hits.cfm?pub_id=WP-456&pub_file_name=pubWP-456.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1996. "How Teachers' Unions Affect Education Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 671-718.
    2. George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 1990. "Asymmetric Information Bargaining Problems with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 351-367.
    3. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    4. Hart, Oliver D, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 119-139, Spring.
    5. Freeman, Richard B, 1986. "The Effect of the Union Wage Differential on Management Opposition and Union Organizing Success," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 92-96, May.
    6. Cukierman, Alex & Tommasi, Mariano, 1998. "When Does It Take a Nixon to Go to China?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 180-197, March.
    7. Melnick, Glenn A. & Zwanziger, Jack & Bamezai, Anil & Pattison, Robert, 1992. "The effects of market structure and bargaining position on hospital prices," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 217-233, October.
    8. Ellis, Randall P. & McGuire, Thomas G., 1986. "Provider behavior under prospective reimbursement : Cost sharing and supply," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 129-151, June.
    9. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Multiproduct Firms, Product Differentiation, and Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    10. Dranove, David, 1988. "Demand Inducement and the Physician/Patient Relationship," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 281-298, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ariel Fiszbein, 2005. "Citizens, Politicians, and Providers : The Latin American Experience with Service Delivery Reform," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7371, November.
    2. Ganimian, Alejandro J., 2016. "Why do some school-based management reforms survive while others are reversed? The cases of Honduras and Guatemala," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 33-46.
    3. Pablo EgaƱa & Alejandro Micco, 2011. "Labor Market in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Missing Reform," Working Papers wp345, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    4. Maria Victoria Murillo & Mariano Tommasi & Lucas Ronconi & Juan Sanguinetti, 2002. "The Economic Effects of Unions in Latin America: Teachers' Unions and Education in Argentina," Research Department Publications 3156, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

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