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The Electoral Consequences of the Washington Consensus

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  • Eduardo Lora

    ()

  • Mauricio Olivera

Abstract

This paper assesses how electoral outcomes in both presidential and legislative elections in Latin America have been affected by the adoption of economic policies that seek to improve macroeconomic stability and facilitate the functioning of markets. The database includes 17 Latin American countries for the period 1985-2002, and a total of 66 presidential and 81 legislative elections. The set of testable hypotheses is derived from a review of the literature and is structured around the hypothesis of economic voting. It is found that (i) the incumbent’s party is rewarded for reductions in the rate of inflation and, to a lesser extent, for increases in the rate of growth; (ii) the more fragmented or ideologically polarized the party system, the higher the electoral rewards of reducing the inflation rate or raising the economic growth rate; (iii) voters care not only about economic outcomes, but also about some of the policies adopted: while the electorate seems blind to macroeconomic policies such as fiscal or exchange-rate policies, it is averse to pro-market policies, irrespective of their effects on growth or inflation; and (iv) the electorate is more tolerant of pro-market reforms when the incumbent’s party has a more market-oriented ideology. These results suggest that reforming parties have paid a hefty price for the adoption of pro-market reforms, except when such reforms have been undertaken in conjunction with stabilization policies in high-inflation economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Eduardo Lora & Mauricio Olivera, 2005. "The Electoral Consequences of the Washington Consensus," Research Department Publications 4405, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4405
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carol Graham, 2008. "Measuring Quality of Life in Latin America: What Happiness Research Can (and Cannot) Contribute," Research Department Publications 4598, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2005. "Contractionary Currency Crashes in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 11508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Tella, Rafael Di & Donna, Javier & MacCulloch, Robert, 2008. "Crime and beliefs: Evidence from Latin America," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 566-569, June.
    4. Lora, Eduardo, 2008. "El futuro de los pactos fiscales en América Latina," Coediciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1310, March.
    5. Bonnet, Céline & Dubois, Pierre & Martimort, David & Straub, Stéphane, 2009. "Empirical Evidence on Satisfaction with Privatization in Latin America: Welfare Effects and Beliefs," IDEI Working Papers 566, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    6. Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2009. "Happiness, Ideology and Crime in Argentine Cities," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1662, Inter-American Development Bank.
    7. Bussolo, Maurizio & De Hoyos, Rafael E. & Medvedev, Denis, 2008. "Is the developing world catching up ? global convergence and national rising dispersion," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4733, The World Bank.
    8. Rafael Di Tella & Juan Dubra & Robert MacCulloch, 2008. "A Resource Belief-Curse? Oil and Individualism," NBER Working Papers 14556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Carol Graham, 2008. "Measuring Quality of Life in Latin America: What Happiness Research Can (and Cannot) Contribute," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1632, Inter-American Development Bank.
    10. Di Tella, Rafael & Galiani, Sebastian & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2012. "Reality versus propaganda in the formation of beliefs about privatization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 553-567.
    11. repec:tek:journl:v:5:y:2016:i:1:p:25-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Carro Fernandez, Martha, 2007. "Welcoming Foreign Direct Investment? A Political Economy Approach to FDI Policies in Argentina and Brazil," MPRA Paper 47252, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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