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Amateur Legislators-Professional Politicians: The Argentine Congress

Author

Listed:
  • Mariano Tommasi

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres & Center of Studies for Institutional Development)

  • Mark P. Jones

    (Michigan State University & Center of Studies for Institutional Development)

  • Sebastian M. Saiegh

    (New York University & Center of Studies for Institutional Development)

  • Pablo T. Spiller

    (University of California at Berkeley & Center of Studies for Institutional Development)

Abstract

The Argentine Congress plays a limited role in the production of public policy and is a relatively ineffective check on the Argentine Executive Branch. We argue this is the combined result of incentives created by several features of Argentine political institutions. In this article we emphasize the role of the country’s electoral rules, which place the legislator reelection decision not in the hands of the voters, but rather in the hands of the provincial governor/party boss(es). These rules limit legislators’ ability to develop a professional legislative career and reduce their incentives to specialize and to develop strong legislative institutions. We provide empirical evidence of the short duration of congressional careers, the province-based nature of Argentine political careers, and the lack of specialization among legislators resulting from the abovementioned institutional incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariano Tommasi & Mark P. Jones & Sebastian M. Saiegh & Pablo T. Spiller, 2002. "Amateur Legislators-Professional Politicians: The Argentine Congress," Working Papers 31, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jul 2002.
  • Handle: RePEc:sad:wpaper:31
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Theocharis N. Grigoriadis & Benno Torgler, 2006. "Energy Regulation, Roll Call Votes and Regional Resources: Evidence from Russia," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-25, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    2. Theocharis N. Grigoriadis & Benno Torgler, 2007. "Market Reform, Regional Energy and Popular Representation: Evidence from Post-Soviet Russia," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 221, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    3. Rafael Di Tella & Juan Dubra, 2010. "Peronist Beliefs and Interventionist Policies," NBER Working Papers 16621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mariano Tommasi & Miguel Braun, 2002. "Fiscal Rules for Subnational Governments. Some Organizing Principles and Latin American Experiences," Working Papers 44, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Mar 2002.
    5. Mariano Tommasi, 2002. "Crisis, Political Institutions and Policy Reform: It Is Not the Policy, It Is the Polity, Stupid," Working Papers 49, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2004.
    6. Enikolopov, Ruben & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2007. "Decentralization and political institutions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2261-2290, December.
    7. Andrés Mejía Acosta & María Caridad Araujo & Anibal Pérez-Liñán & Sebastian Saiegh, 2006. "Actores con veto, instituciones caprichosas y políticas de mala calidad: el proceso de diseño de políticas de Ecuador," Research Department Publications 3227, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    8. Mariano Tommasi, 2002. "Federalism in Argentina and the Reforms of the 1990s," Working Papers 48, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised May 2002.
    9. Sebastian Saiegh & Marcela Montero & Anibal Pérez-Liñán & José Molinas, 2006. "Political Institutions, Policymaking Processes and Policy Outcomes in Paraguay, 1954-2003," Research Department Publications 3194, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    10. Mariano Tommasi, 2003. "Crises, institutions politiques et réformes politiques : le bon, le mauvais et l'affreux," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 11(2), pages 49-81.
    11. 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.
    12. Sebastian Saiegh & Marcela Montero & Anibal Pérez-Liñán & José Molinas, 2006. "Instituciones políticas, procesos de diseño de políticas y resultados de políticas en Paraguay, 1954-2003," Research Department Publications 3195, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    13. Alston, Lee J. & Gallo, Andrés A., 2010. "Electoral fraud, the rise of Peron and demise of checks and balances in Argentina," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 179-197, April.
    14. Emmanuel Abuelafia & Sergio Berensztein & Miguel Braun & Luciano di Gresia, 2005. "Who Decides on Public Expenditures? A Political Economy Analysis of the Budget Process: The Case of Argentina," Public Economics 0511004, EconWPA.
    15. Andrés Mejía Acosta & María Caridad Araujo & Anibal Pérez-Liñán & Sebastian Saiegh, 2006. "Veto Players, Fickle Institutions and Low-Quality Policies: The Policymaking Process in Ecuador," Research Department Publications 3226, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    16. José Bercoff & Osvaldo Meloni, 2009. "Federal budget allocation in an emergent democracy: evidence from Argentina," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 65-83, January.
    17. Gerald A. McDermott, 2003. "Institutional Change and Firm Creation in East-Central Europe: An Embedded Politics Approach," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-590, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

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