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Political Institutions, State Capabilities and Public Policy - International Evidence

  • Carlos Scartascini
  • Ernesto 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, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4608.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4608
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  1. 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.
  2. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Drazen, Allan, 1998. "Uncertain Duration Of Reform," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 443-455, December.
  3. Pranab Bardhan., 1996. "Efficiency, Equity and Poverty Alleviation: Policy Issues in Less Developed Countries," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C96-065, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. 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.
  5. Miguel Braun & Luciano Di Gresia, 2003. "Towards Effective Social Insurance in Latin America: The Importance of Countercyclical Fiscal Policy," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6508, Inter-American Development Bank.
  6. Carlos Scartascini & Mariano Tommasi & Ernesto H. Stein, 2008. "Veto Players, Intertemporal Interactions and Policy Adaptability: How Do Political Institutions Work?," Research Department Publications 4593, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2006. "Policy Volatility and Growth," Research Department Publications 4481, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  8. Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Policy Uncertainty and Private Investment in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 2999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
  10. 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.
  11. Ludwig van den Hauwe, 2005. "Constitutional economics," Public Economics 0508010, EconWPA, revised 19 Aug 2005.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Witold J. Henisz, 2002. "The institutional environment for infrastructure investment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 355-389.
  15. Eduardo Lora, 2007. "The State of State Reform in Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6642, September.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Carlos Scartascini, 2007. "The Institutional Determinants of Political Transactions," Research Department Publications 4483, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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