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What explains significant variation across countries in the use of vote buying instead of campaign promises to secure voter support? This paper explicitly models the tradeoff parties face between engaging in vote buying and making campaign promises, and explores the distributional consequences of this decision, in a setting where party credibility can vary. When parties are less credible they spend more on vote buying and target vote buying more heavily toward groups that do not believe campaign promises. When political credibility is sufficiently low, some voter groups are targeted only with vote buying and not with promises of post-electoral transfers. Stronger electoral competition reduces rent seeking but increases vote buying. Incumbents may have an advantage in undertaking vote buying; the paper finds that in a dynamic setting the prospect of a future incumbency advantage increases current vote buying.
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 acto ... (View publication)
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)
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