Institutions and economics
Around the world, civil service reform is viewed as necessary to deliver public services effectively and to foster development. However, evidence is thin on how the management of bureaucrats affects the provision of public services. This column presents new evidence from Nigeria linking completion rates of government projects to bureaucractic management practices. Greater autonomy is associated with higher completion rates, whereas performance monitoring and incentive schemes seem to backfire. The most effective private-sector management practices may not be suited to public sector bureaucracies.
Reduced policy uncertainty can contribute to a country’s economic growth. This column highlights the negative influence of policy uncertainty and political instability on the growth of Japan. A survey shows that international trade and tax polices pose the greatest uncertainty on Japanese companies. The column concludes with a discussion of the mechanism via which uncertainty affects corporate behavior.
Trade reforms must be durable if countries are to reap the benefits of international specialisation and trade. Whereas Peru has sustained the reforms it carried out in the 1990s, Argentina has introduced multiple trade restrictions in recent years. This column argues that Peru’s success is due to two factors. First, Peruvian trade reform was part of a broader reform effort. Second, by highlighting the success of Asian countries and negotiating bilateral agreements, Peru’s political leaders fostered a positive vision of Peru’s role in the world economy.
During the ‘Scramble for Africa,’ the arbitrary design of colonial borders partitioned many ethnicities across two or more contemporary African states. This column presents recent research that exploits this quasi-experiment to study the effect of institutions on development. The overall effect of institutions is insignificant; but this masks considerable heterogeneity driven by diminishing government influence in remote areas. These findings conflict with previous cross-country work in economics, but support arguments put forward by the African historiography.
The publication of attributed voting records and minutes of the ECB council’s meetings would increase the influence of national governments and discourage pro-Eurozone behaviour. This column argues that this would be undesirable. Publishing non-attributed summary minutes, however, would enhance the ECB’s accountability towards the public.
Other Recent Articles:
- On the ‘Coase theorem’ and the economics of Coase
- The welfare cost of lawlessness: Evidence from Somali piracy
- Misplaced concerns about central-bank independence
- Things we must consider in shaping Japanese economic policy for the future
- Estimating neutral interest rates in Latin America
- The hidden gains from trade liberalisation
- Macroeconomic adjustment and the history of crises in open economies
- Why supervisors should continue measuring financial risks – the fallacy of simple rules
- Public procurement markets: Where are we?
- Power sharing and institutional stability
- Débâcle: The 11th GTA report on protectionism
- Why America spends while the world saves
- Public-debt crises and bad equilibria
- South-South investment, institutional quality, and natural resources
- The privatisation of infrastructure: One size does not fit all
- The damaged ECB legitimacy
- Legal origin: A Chinese perspective
- The US left behind: The rise of IPO activity around the world
- Roads to nowhere or bridges to growth? Public investment efficiency in developing countries
- How developing nations escaped procyclical fiscal policy
- A tale of two depressions: What do the new data tell us? February 2010 updateEichengreen, O’Rourke
- The ECB’s stealth bailoutSinn
- Educated in America: College graduates and high school dropoutsHeckman, LaFontaine
- Eurozone breakup would trigger the mother of all financial crisesEichengreen
- Panic-driven austerity in the Eurozone and its implicationsDe Grauwe, Ji
Adelman, 28 October 2013
Reichlin, Giugliano, 7 November 2013