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The understanding of the economic effect of formal institutional rules has progressed substantially in recent decades. These formal analyses have tended to take for granted that institutional arenas such as Congress are the places where decision-making takes place. That is a good approximation in some cases (such as many developed countries today) but not in others. If countries differ in how institutionalized their policymaking is, it is possible that the impact of formal political rules on policy outcomes might depend on that. This paper explores that hypothesis and finds that some important claims regarding the impact of constitutions on policy outcomes do not hold for countries in which institutionalization is low. The findings suggest the need to develop a broader class of policymaking models in which the degree to which decision-making follows “the rules” is also endogenized.
Most policy analyses and academic papers deal with finding the combination of policies that may bring about the best development outcomes. However, in the long run, it is the features of public policies that seem to matter for explaining development outcomes. Unfortunately, Latin America and the Caribbean lags behind other regions in the quality of the features of public policies. Policy feat ... (View publication)
This policy brief takes stock of the research on government capabilities undertaken at the Inter-American Development Bank, highlights the relevance of government capabilities for generating better policies and higher levels of development, summarizes what has been learned about the origins of those capabilities, suggests avenues for further exploration, and derives lessons (and caveats) for insti ... (View publication)
This document presents the codebook for an updated version of the 2008 database on Political Institutions, State Capabilities, and Public Policy. 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 main variables in this database reflect the policymaking capabilitie ... (View publication)
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