OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

The Process of Reform in Latin America

A Review Essay

This paper contributes to literature on the process of reform in Latin America. We study political economy aspects and the policy making process of reforms in what we identify as the five critical steps through the "life cycle" of a policy reform: the Planning, Dialogue, Adoption, Implementation, and Sustainability stages. This paper illustrates that the most important actors involved and the major bottlenecks vary at different stages of the reform process. Explanations for successful or failed reform experiments must therefore adequately account for this temporal dimension of reforms. Similarly, policy makers may increase the chances of success of their reform platforms by paying due attention to this stylised pattern of actors and bottlenecks. We also consider in some detail the actors who interact during the reform cycle, and review their changing strength and capacity in recent decades in Latin America.


Keywords: state capacity, political economy, policy making process, political institutions, Latin America, reforms
JEL: D72: Microeconomics / Analysis of Collective Decision-Making / Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior; H11: Public Economics / Structure and Scope of Government / Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government; P16: Economic Systems / Capitalist Systems / Capitalist Systems: Political Economy; O19: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations; D78: Microeconomics / Analysis of Collective Decision-Making / Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation; B49: History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches / Economic Methodology / Economic Methodology: Other
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