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This paper argues that institutionalization is an equilibrium phenomenon and is associated with better policies and better results in terms of economic development. In support of this argument is presented a theoretical model that extends the space of feasible actions for political actors, including the possibility of investing in both institutionalized and non-institutionalized arenas. Thus, to visualize the process of institutionalization can be endogenous to the functioning of political institutions. In addition to this conceptual model, quantitative results are presented which show that low levels of institutionalization tend to weaken the results arising from the literature of more traditional political economy. That is, low institutionalization in the context of traditional political institutions, particularly those jure measures may not be relevant in explaining policy outcomes. Still, this work opens up more questions than it answers and leaves lines of research proposals that can help provide answers to them.
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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