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Freedom of Information Acts (FOIAs) aim to provide a channeled exchange between citizens and public officials that, irrespective of the citizen’s identity, results in the provision of timely, relevant, and often new information about policy. The authors of this paper evaluated Mexico’s FOIA by submitting 307 information requests on behalf of an average male citizen to government entities in the years 2007, 2013, and 2015. In 2007, the authors also submitted the same requests to 87 comparable entities on behalf of a male citizen who signaled clout. For the most part, entities are not discriminating between regular and seemingly influential citizens. Entities are also answering more frequently and providing more information in 2015 compared to earlier years, but they are taking longer to answer, frequently charging fees, and often failing to provide quality information to questions they are legally bound to answer. Mexico’s FOIA is a functional system demanding significant improvements.
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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