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Recent evidence suggests that the success or failure of productive development policies (PDPs) largely depends not so much on the particular characteristics of policies, but on the institutional capacities of public organizations charged with implementing them. This study aims to make it easier to understand institutional capacities’ role in designing and implementing PDPs, through an analysis of three case studies of productive development agencies (PDAs) in Argentina: the City of Buenos Aires’ Technology District (DT), a territorial and sectoral vertical stimulus program; the Export.Ar Foundation, the national export promotion agency; and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MINCyT), the chief public science and technology agency. We found that, beyond the institutional design of PDAs, political capacities—particularly top-level support from the political establishment—play a crucial role in the success of PDPs. We also found that the challenge for PDAs lies in building the technical and organizational capacities that enable “good” PDPs to rise above the “public entrepreneurs” that implemented them, especially against the backdrop of policy volatility, low bureaucratic professionalization, and an informal, inadequately structured public sector, as has occurred in Argentina.
Within the broad spectrum of public policies promoting productive development (PDPs), this paper focuses on “design promotion” policies, which see design as a tool for innovation, differentiation, and competitiveness. We studied the lead government agencies in charge of design-focused PDPs in the national government and in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (CABA). Some of the paper’s main findin ... (View publication)
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)
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