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Political Institutions and Policy Outcomes in Colombia: The Effects of the 1991 Constitution

Mauricio Cardenas (), Roberto Junguito and Mónica Pachón

No 3340, IDB Publications (Working Papers) from Inter-American Development Bank

Abstract: The 1991 Colombian Constitution strengthened the checks and balances of the political system by enhancing the role of Congress and the Constitutional Court, while somewhat limiting the powers of the President (who nonetheless remains extremely powerful even by Latin American standards). As a consequence of the larger number of relevant players, and the removal of barriers that restricted political participation, the political system has gained in terms of representation. However, political transaction costs have increased, making cooperation harder to achieve. The authors show that this has been typically the case in fiscal policy, where the use of rigid rules, the constitutionalization of some policies, and a reduction in legislative success rates-due to the presence of a more divided and fragmented Congress-have limited the adaptability and flexibility of policies. In contrast, in other areas of policy that were formally delegated to the technocracy, policies have been more adaptable to economic shocks, delivering better outcomes.

Keywords: political institutions; policymaking; policy outcomes; Colombia; 1991 Constitution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E61 E65 H11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-09
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Related works:
Journal Article: Political Institutions and Policy Outcomes in Colombia: the Effects of the 1991 Constitution (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: Political Institutions and Policy Outcomes in Colombia: The Effects of the 1991 Constitution (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: Political institutions and policy outcomes in Colombia: the effects of the 1991 Constitution (2005) Downloads
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