Political Institutions, Intertemporal Cooperation, and the Quality of Policies

Inter-American Development Bank Research Department Working Paper No. 676

35 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2010

See all articles by Carlos Scartascini

Carlos Scartascini

Research Department - Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Ernesto Stein

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Mariano Tommasi

Universidad de San Andres - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 30, 2009

Abstract

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 necessary to develop and sustain effective policies. The analytical framework developed here indicates that this ability depends on several characteristics of political institutions, such as congressional capabilities, judicial independence, and bureaucratic independence and professionalism. The empirical evidence presented supports this idea. The measures of policy quality developed here could be utilized for other purposes, including the determination of conditions under which more public spending in a given area is likely to generate the desired outcomes.

Keywords: Political institutions, Public policies, Government capabilities, Intertemporal cooperation, Development, Policy index, Credibility, Judicial independence, Party institutionalization, Congress capabilities, Cabinet stability

JEL Classification: D72, D78, H10, H50, O10

Suggested Citation

Scartascini, Carlos G. and Stein, Ernesto Hugo and Tommasi, Mariano, Political Institutions, Intertemporal Cooperation, and the Quality of Policies (April 30, 2009). Inter-American Development Bank Research Department Working Paper No. 676, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1548967 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1548967

Carlos G. Scartascini (Contact Author)

Research Department - Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States
2026231963 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cscartascini.org

Ernesto Hugo Stein

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue, NW
Research Department
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Mariano Tommasi

Universidad de San Andres - Department of Economics ( email )

Vito Dumas 284
Victoria, Buenos Aires B1644BID
Argentina
+5411-4725-7020 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.udesa.edu.ar/tommasi/index.htm

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