Are We All Playing the Same Game? The Economic Effects of Constitutions Depend on the Degree of Institutionalization

37 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2013

See all articles by Germán Caruso

Germán Caruso

World Bank; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics

Carlos Scartascini

Research Department - Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Mariano Tommasi

Universidad de San Andres - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 2013

Abstract

The understanding of the economic effect of formal institutional rules has progressed substantially in recent decades. These formal analyses have tended to take for granted that institutional arenas such as Congress are the places where decision-making takes place. That is a good approximation in some cases (such as many developed countries today) but not in others. If countries differ in how institutionalized their policymaking is, it is possible that the impact of formal political rules on policy outcomes might depend on that. This paper explores that hypothesis and finds that some important claims regarding the impact of constitutions on policy outcomes do not hold for countries in which institutionalization is low. The findings suggest the need to develop a broader class of policymaking models in which the degree to which decision-making follows “the rules” is also endogenized.

JEL Classification: D72, D73, D78, H20, H60, H62

Suggested Citation

Caruso, German and Scartascini, Carlos G. and Tommasi, Mariano, Are We All Playing the Same Game? The Economic Effects of Constitutions Depend on the Degree of Institutionalization (July 2013). IDB Working Paper No. IDB-WP-237, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2367684 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2367684

German Caruso (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics ( email )

410 David Kinley Hall
1407 W. Gregory
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

Carlos G. Scartascini

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

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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