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This paper surveys selected themes in the political economy of policymaking in Latin America, with an emphasis on recent research focusing on actual decision and implementation processes, and on the political institutions and state and social actors involved in those processes. In particular, the paper addresses how political rules work for or against intertemporal cooperation among political actors. The document shows that the extent to which polities obtain the key policy features that seem to determine development depends on the workings of political institutions, which define how the policymaking game is played, on the characteristics of the arenas of interaction, which define where the policymaking game is played, and on certain characteristics of key socioeconomic groups, which define who interacts with professional politicians in pursuing different policy preferences.
While economists have tended to focus on specific public policies when developing recommendations, the achievement of welfare objectives might depend more on the quality of policies than their content. This paper develops several measures of the qualities of policies across countries, arguing that the quality of public policies depends on each polity’s ability to strike intertemporal transactions ... (View publication)
This paper introduces preliminary evidence from a cross-country database of policy characteristics and potential uses of that database. While most databases have emphasized either the content of policies (e.g., size of government deficits) or countries’ formal institutions (e.g., political regime, electoral system), the variables in this database reflect the policymaking capabilities of different ... (View publication)
The capacity to sustain policies over time and the capacity to adjust policies in the face of changing circumstances are two desirable properties of policymaking systems. The veto player approach has suggested that polities with more veto players will have the capacity to sustain policies at the expense of the ability to change policy when necessary. This paper disputes that assertion from an inte ... (View publication)
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