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The Presidency and the Executive Branch in Latin America: What We Know and What We Need to Know

  • Alejandro Bonvecchi
  • Carlos Scartascini

    ()

The presidential politics literature depicts presidents either as all-powerful actors or figureheads and seeks to explain outcomes accordingly. The president and the executive branch are nonetheless usually treated as black boxes, particularly in developing countries, even though the presidency has evolved into an extremely complex branch of government. While these developments have been studied in the United States, far less is known in other countries, particularly in Latin America, where presidential systems have been considered the source of all goods and evils. To help close the knowledge gap and explore differences in policymaking characteristics not only between Latin America and the US but also across Latin American countries, this paper summarizes the vast literature on the organization and resources of the Executive Branch in the Americas and sets a research agenda for the study of Latin American presidencies.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4756.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4756
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  1. Arturo Galindo & Carlos Scartascini & J. Mark Payne & Robert Daughters & Alberto Melo & Koldo Echebarría & Eduardo Lora & Gabriel Filc & Alejandro Micco & Alberto E. Chong & Ugo Panizza & Juan Benavid, 2007. "The State of State Reform in Latin America," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 59578 edited by Eduardo Lora, October.
  2. repec:idb:brikps:59578 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
  4. repec:idb:brikps:34665 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Carlos Scartascini & Ernesto H. Stein & Mariano Tommasi & Mark P. Jones & Sebastián Saiegh & Mariana Magaldi de Sousa & Cecilia Martínez-Gallardo & Laura Zuvanic & Mercedes Iacoviello & Ana Laura Rodr, 2010. "How Democracy Works: Political Institutions, Actors and Arenas in Latin American Policymaking," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 34665 edited by Carlos Scartascini & Ernesto Stein & Mariano Tommasi, October.
  6. Eduardo Lora, 2007. "The State of State Reform in Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6642.
  7. Mariano Tommasi & Sebastian Saiegh & Pablo Sanguinetti, 2001. "Fiscal Federalism in Argentina: Policies, Politics, and Institutional Reform," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  8. Schady, Norbert R, 2002. "Picking the Poor: Indicators for Geographic Targeting in Peru," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 417-33, September.
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