Political%20Institutions%2C%20State%20Capabilities%20and%20Public%20Policy%3A%20International%20Evidence

Working Papers

Political Institutions, State Capabilities and Public Policy: International Evidence


CODE: WP-661
AUTHOR(s): Scartascini, Carlos , Stein, Ernesto H. , Tommasi, Mariano
PUBLISHED: December 2008
LANGUAGE: English
DATASETS: Political Institutions, State Capabilities, and Public Policy: An International Dataset
RELATED TOPICS: Government and Democracy
DOWNLOAD FILE IN: English

Abstract:

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 polities. The paper attempts to explain these policy characteristics as depending on the workings of political institutions, using a logic emphasizing intertemporal political compromise. The paper also contrasts this logic with alternatives such as the veto players approach. The paper concludes by suggesting the use of these policy characteristics or state capabilities as explanatory variables for the effectiveness of public spending in various social areas.

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