Some Lessons from Transaction-Cost Politics for Less-Developed Countries
Avinash Dixit ()
Economics and Politics, 2003, vol. 15, issue 2, 107-133
Transaction-cost politics views economic policy-making as a political process constrained by asymmetric information and limited commitment possibilities. This paper examines some implications of this perspective for less-developed countries (LDCs) considering policy reform. It emphasizes that success requires reform of the rules and institutions which govern the strategic interaction of the participants in the political game, and that reforms must cope with the special interests and asymmetric information which already exist. In this light, it examines some broad issues of the design of constitutions and institutions (definition and enforcement of property rights, control of inflation, and of government expenditures, federalism, and redistribution), as well as some specific issue of the design of organizations and incentives (problems posed by the interaction of multiple tasks and multiple interests, and their interaction with the limitations on auditing and administration that exists in many LDCs). Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.
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