Carlos Scartascini is Principal Economist at the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank. His areas of expertise include Political Economy and Public Finance. His current research focuses on uncovering the determinants of tax compliance in Latin America (through the use of natural and field experiments), explaining the political economy of tax reforms, and understanding and measuring the process of government capacity accumulation. He has published seven books and more than 30 articles in edited volumes and specialized journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Economía, the Journal of Industrial Economics, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Journal of Banking and Finance, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and the Journal of Theoretical Politics. He is Associate Editor of the academic journal Economía, and co-editor of Vox-LACEA. A native of Argentina, Dr. Scartascini holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Economics from George Mason University. 

Extended Bio /Sitio en español

NEW ¿Quiénes deciden la política social? (more than 20,000 downloads in the first 3 months!)


Why do some social programs succeed while others do not? Because public policies are not designed and implemented in a vacuum: they are an integral part of the policymaking process. This book endeavors to understand how the decision-making process works in practice through a combined analysis of social networks and political economy. Use and application of these instruments make it possible to examine specific cases of social programs in the region. It is hoped that the evidence gleaned from this research helps us understand the outcomes of public policies, and leads to better design and more efficient implementation of social programs in Latin America.

Summary of the book in Vox.LACEA

Recent opinion pieces (previous columns) (columnas en español)

"External Aid and Government Capacity Building" Ideas Matter. October 2015.

"Explaining Changes in Tax Burdens in Latin America" Ideas Matter. September 2015.

"Who Decides Social Policy?" Ideas matter. August 2015

"Preocupémonos de lo que realmente importa." Foco Económico. July 2015.

"Por qué fracasan las políticas públicas". Bastión Digital. July 2015.

"Let There Be (More) Light: The Case for Impact Evaluations." Ideas Matter. July 2015.

"Faced with a Water Shortage, a Flood of Ideas."  Ideas Matter. May 2015.

"¿Conspira Facebook contra la felicidad?"  Ideas que cuentan. April 2015.

"House of Cards, Latin American Style" Ideas Matter. March 2015.

"Crimen y castigo: la independencia judicial en América Latina" Ideas que cuentan. February 2015.

"Vaccination: Infectious Misinformation" Ideas Matter. February 2015.

"Who Decides the Budget?"  Ideas Matter. February 2015.

"Crime and Violence: An Expensive Problem". Ideas que cuentan. January 2015.

"The Do’s and Don’ts of “Nudging”.Ideas Matter. January 2015.

"Sobre la independencia de la justicia" FocoEconómico. December 2014

"The Weakest Link: Government Capabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean" Ideas Matter. December 2014.

"A Public Policy Report Card for the Region"Ideas Matter. December 2014.

"How Far Can the IMF’s New Fiscal Transparency Code Take Us?" Public Financial Management Blog, IMF. November 2014.

"Capacidades del gobierno, burocracia, y el legado de Gordon Tullock" Vox-LACEA. November 2014

A short video that summarizes the work we are conducting for reducing tax evasion

The information and opinions presented in this website are entirely those of the author, and no endorsement by the Inter-American Development Bank, its Board of Executive Directors, or the countries they represent is expressed or implied.

Subpages (1): Extended Bio