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Institutional Arrangements and Fiscal Performance: The Latin American Experience

  • Ernesto Stein
  • Ernesto Talvi
  • Alejandro Grisanti

This paper explores the links between institutional arrangements and fiscal performance in" Latin America. We consider four measures of fiscal performance, namely expenditures, the size of fiscal deficits and debt, and the response of fiscal policy to business" fluctuations; and two institutional dimensions, namely, electoral systems and budgetary processes. " We find evidence that electoral systems characterized by a large degree of proportionality large district magnitude, tend to have larger governments, larger deficits and a more procyclical" response to the business cycle. We also find that more transparent and hierarchical budgetary" procedures lead to lower deficits and debt. Contrary to the findings of Hallerberg and von Hagen" for European countries, we find no evidence that centralized budgetary arrangements neutralize the" potentially adverse impact on fiscal deficits of a larger degree of proportionality of the electoral" system.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6358.

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Date of creation: Jan 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance. Poterba, James M., and Jurgen von Hagen, eds., Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999,pp. 103-133.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6358
Note: PE
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  1. Stein, Ernesto & Hommes, Rudolf & Hausmann, Ricardo & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Performance in Latin America," Scholarly Articles 4553021, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Mark Hallerberg & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 209-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gérard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 1737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," NBER Working Papers 5537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Rudolf Hommes, 1996. "Evolution and Rationality of Budget Institutions in Colombia," Research Department Publications 4024, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "Fiscal Expansions and Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 5214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. von Hagen, Jurgen, 1991. "A note on the empirical effectiveness of formal fiscal restraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 199-210, March.
  9. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rogowski, Ronald, 1987. "Trade and the variety of democratic institutions," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(02), pages 203-223, March.
  11. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Do Budget Rules Work?," NBER Working Papers 5550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. Roubini, Nouriel, 1991. "Economic and political determinants of budget deficits in developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1, Supple), pages S49-S72, March.
  15. von Hagen, Jurgen & Harden, Ian J., 1995. "Budget processes and commitment to fiscal discipline," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 771-779, April.
  16. Eichengreen, Barry & Bayoumi, Tamim, 1994. "The political economy of fiscal restrictions: Implications for Europe from the United States," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 783-791, April.
  17. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann & Jürgen Von Hagen, 1999. "Reforming Budgetary Institutions in Latin America: The Case for a National Fiscal Council," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 415-442, October.
  18. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Edin, P-A. & Ohlsson, H., 1990. "Political Determinants Of Budget Deficits: Coalition Effects Versus Minority Effects," Papers 1990k, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  20. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  21. Hallerberg, Mark & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1997. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits within the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 1555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Eichengreen, B., 1992. "Should the Maastricht Treaty be Saved?," Princeton Studies in International Economics 74, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
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