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The Effectiveness of Macroeconomic Commitment in Weak(er) Institutional Environments


  • Marc G Quintyn
  • Sophia Gollwitzer


This paper analyzes the institutional conditions affecting the establishment and effectiveness of independent central banks and of budgetary institutions. It draws on the recent theory developed by North, Wallis and Weingast on the transition from a closed and fragile state to an open economic and political environment. The paper presents a composite indicator allowing for the identification of a country’s position along this transition path. The findings suggest that (i) while the establishment of autonomous central banks seems to be relatively independent from the broader institutional framework, sound budgetary institutions tend to be established in countries with higher levels of rule of law for the elites, and (ii) while central bank independence is effective in reducing inflation irrespective of a country’s position along the transition path, budget institutions seem to be most effective as a disciplining device in weak institutional environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc G Quintyn & Sophia Gollwitzer, 2010. "The Effectiveness of Macroeconomic Commitment in Weak(er) Institutional Environments," IMF Working Papers 10/193, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/193

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    2. Crowe, Christopher & Meade, Ellen E., 2008. "Central bank independence and transparency: Evolution and effectiveness," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 763-777, December.
    3. Antonio Estache & Liam Wren-Lewis, 2009. "Toward a Theory of Regulation for Developing Countries: Following Jean-Jacques Laffont's Lead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 729-770, September.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & Pablo Querubin & James A. Robinson, 2008. "When Does Policy Reform Work? The Case of Central Bank Independence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 351-429.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Douglass C. North & John Joseph Wallis & Barry R. Weingast, 2006. "A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History," NBER Working Papers 12795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jean-François Segalotto & Marco Arnone & Bernard J Laurens, 2006. "Measures of Central Bank Autonomy; Empirical Evidence for OECD, Developing, and Emerging Market Economies," IMF Working Papers 06/228, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Jácome, Luis I. & Vázquez, Francisco, 2008. "Is there any link between legal central bank independence and inflation? Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 788-801, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Corinne Deléchat & Ejona Fuli & Dafina Glaser & Gustavo Ramirez & Rui Xu, 2015. "Exiting From Fragility in sub-Saharan Africa; The Role of Fiscal Policies and Fiscal Institutions," IMF Working Papers 15/268, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Lledó, Victor & Poplawski-Ribeiro, Marcos, 2013. "Fiscal Policy Implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 79-91.
    3. Marc G Quintyn & Sophia Gollwitzer, 2012. "Institutional Transformations, Polity and Economic Outcomes; Testing the North-Wallis-Weingast Doorsteps Framework," IMF Working Papers 12/87, International Monetary Fund.


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