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Political accountability and regulatory performance in infrastructure industries : an empirical analysis

  • Gasmi, Farid
  • Noumba Um, Paul
  • Virto, Laura Recuero

The aim of this paper is to empirically explore the relationship between the quality of political institutions and the performance of regulation, an issue that has recently occupied much of the policy debate on the effectiveness of infrastructure industry reforms. Taking the view that political accountability is a key factor that links political structures and regulatory processes, the authors investigate, for the case of telecommunications, its impact on the performance of regulation in two time-series-cross-sectional data sets on 29 developing countries and 23 industrial countries covering the period 1985-99. In addition to confirming some well documented results on the positive role of regulatory governance in infrastructure industries, the authors provide empirical evidence on the impact of the quality of political institutions and their modes of functioning on regulatory performance. The analysis of the data sets shows that the (positive) effect of political accountability on the performance of regulation is stronger in developing countries. An important policy implication of this finding is that future reforms in these countries should give due attention to the development of politically accountable systems.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4101.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4101
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  1. Frank Windmeijer, 1998. "Efficiency comparisons for a system GMM estimator in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W98/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Ros, Agustin J. & Banerjee, Aniruddha, 2000. "Telecommunications privatization and tariff rebalancing: evidence from Latin America," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 233-252, April.
  3. Luis Gutierrez, 2002. "Regulatory governance in the latinamerican telecommunications sector," BORRADORES DE INVESTIGACIÓN 003447, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  4. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  5. repec:reg:rpubli:194 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Rathindran, Randeep, 2003. "An assessment of telecommunications reform in developing countries," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 443-466, December.
  7. William B. Heller & Mathew D. McCubbins, 1996. "Politics, institutions, and outcomes: Electricity regulation in Argentina and Chile," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(4), pages 357-387.
  8. Wallsten, Scott & Clarke, George & Haggarty, Luke & Kaneshiro, Rosario & Noll, Roger & Shirley, Mary & Lixin Colin Xu, 2004. "New tools for studying network industry reforms in developing countries : the telecommunications and electricity regulation database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3286, The World Bank.
  9. Gasmi, Farid & Recuero Virto, Laura, 2005. "Telecommunications Technologies: Deployment in Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 2443, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Li, Wei & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2004. "The Impact of Privatization and Competition in the Telecommunications Sector around the World," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 395-430, October.
  11. repec:reg:rpubli:124 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Ashley C. Brown & Jon Stern & Bernard Tenenbaum, 2006. "Handbook for Evaluating Infrastructure Regulatory Systems," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7030.
  13. Cubbin, John & Stern, John, 2005. "Regulatory effectiveness and the empirical impact of variations in regulatory governance - electricity industry capacity and efficiency in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3535, The World Bank.
  14. 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.
  15. Mariano Tommasi & Pablo T. Spiller, 2004. "The Institutions of Regulation," Working Papers 67, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Mar 2004.
  16. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
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