Data

"The Database of Political Institutions 2015 (DPI2015)" (w/ C. Cruz and P. Keefer).  IDB Database No. 121Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2016. 

Abstract:The Database of Political Institutions presents institutional and electoral results data such as measures of checks and balances, tenure and stability of the government, identification of party affiliation and ideology, and fragmentation of opposition and government parties in the legislature, among others. The current version of the database, which is now hosted at the IDB, expands its coverage to about 180 countries for 40 years, 1975–2015. Researchers at the World Bank Development Research Group first compiled the database in 2000 (see citation information below). It has become one of the most cited databases in comparative political economy and comparative political institutions. Almost 3000 studies have used this database so far as a source of institutional and political data in their empirical analysis.

        Related opinion pieces:

            "A Sharp New Light on Political Institutions" Ideas Matter. February 2016.

            "Tracking the Decline of the Right" Ideas Matter. February 2016.

"State Capacity and the Quality of Policies. Revisiting the Relationship Between Openness and the Size of the Government" (w/ M.Franco Chuaire, and M. Tommasi). 2014. Paper. Online appendix

Abstract: A positive relationship between a country´s level of openness to international trade and the size of its government has been established in the literature. The predominant explanation, the compensation hypothesis, argues that government spending plays a risk-reducing role in economies exposed to external risk. This paper argues that there are a number of macroeconomic, fiscal, industrial, and social policies that can mitigate trade-induced risks, many of which do not have the necessary implication of increasing public spending.  Yet, many such policies require governmental capabilities not available to any country. For that reason, the relationship between openness and the size of government might be mediated by the quality of its public sector. While countries with weak government capabilities will tend to rely on spending expansions to deal with trade-induced volatility, countries with stronger governmental capabilities might address such challenges by more efficient and less costly means. Using the quality of the bureaucracy as a proxy for government capabilities, we show that the conditional effect of openness on the size of government is only positive and significant for low levels of government quality. As bureaucratic quality increases, the effect of openness on government´s size decreases and it even dissipates.  Therefore, our results indicate that the effect of openness on government consumption is mediated by the quality of government institutions. 


"Political Institutions, State Capabilities, and Public Policy: An International Dataset -2013 Update-" (w/ M.Franco Chuaire, H. Berkman, D. Focanti, E. Stein, and M. Tommasi). IDB Database No. 112Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2013.

AbstractThis database updates the 2008 database on Political Institutions, State Capabilities, and Public Policy. While most databases have emphasized either the content of policies (e.g., size of government deficits) or countries’ formal institutions (e.g., political regime, electoral system), the main variables in this database reflect the policymaking capabilities of different polities. As such, this database includes indicators on the key features of public policies (such as stability, adaptability, coordination, efficiency, and public regardedness) and on government capabilities (such as congress capabilities, judicial independence, political party institutionalization, and civil service). The value added of this database is not so much having generated new data as having compiled and aggregated existing data in a useful manner for empirical analysis. These data has been used for studying the workings of the policymaking process in Latin America, the impact of government capabilities on the quality of public policies, and the determinants of institutionalization, among other purposes.


"Tax Reforms in Latin America in an Era of Democracy. A Database" (w/D. Focanti and M. Hallerberg). IDB Database No. 111. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2013.

AbstractThis database compiles every tax reform that took place in Latin America between 1990 and 2004 according to the Worldwide Tax Summaries of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC). As presented in the accompanying paper “Tax Reforms in Latin America in an Era of Democracy”, this database can be used for understanding the determinants of tax reforms in Latin America. Exact variable definitions as well as a summary of the reforms coded can be found in the codebook.


"Political Institutions, Intertemporal Cooperation, and the Quality of Policies" (w/ E. Stein and M. Tommasi). 2013. Online appendix Data file

Abstract: This database compiles the data used in the paper published in the Journal of Applied Economics16(1): 1-32. May 2013.


"Medium-Term Frameworks and the Budgetary Process in Latin America. A Database" (w/ G. Filc). IDB Database No. 014. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2010.

Abstract:  This dataset compiles publicly available data that proxies for the quality of the public policies that affect productivity at the national level, along with proxies for the articulation and characteristics of interest groups. 


"Politics, Policies, and Productivity: An International Dataset" (w/ A. Mecikovsky, and M. Tommasi). IDB Database No. 013Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2010.

Abstract: Medium-Term Frameworks in every one of their varieties (fiscal, budgetary, and expenditure) have become one of the most popular reforms to the budgetary process in Latin America during the last decade. Introducing MTFs seemed to be the magic solution for most fiscal ailments. Filc and Scartascini (2010) discusses the normative merits of using MTFs, provides a characterization of the different types of MTF, and describes their development in the Latin American region based on extensive field work. This database provides a unique set of information about the current state of development of MTFs based on that field work


"Political Institutions, State Capabilities, and Public Policy: An International Dataset" (w/ H. Berkman, E. Stein, and M. Tommasi). IDB Database No. 012. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2009.

Abstract: While most databases have emphasized either the content of policies (e.g., size of government deficits) or countries’ formal institutions (e.g., political regime, electoral system), the main variables in this database reflect the policymaking capabilities of different polities. As such, this database includes indicators on the key features of public policies (such as stability, adaptability, coordination, efficiency, and public regardedness) and on government capabilities (such as congress capabilities, judicial independence, political party institutionalization, and civil service). The value added of this database is not so much having generated new data as having compiled and aggregated existing data in a useful manner for empirical analysis. These data has been used for studying the workings of the policymaking process in Latin America, the impact of government capabilities on the quality of public policies, and the determinants of institutionalization, among other purposes.


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Carlos Scartascini,
Jul 3, 2014, 8:11 AM
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Carlos Scartascini,
Jul 3, 2014, 8:03 AM
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Political Institutions, Intertemporal Cooperation and the Quality of Public Policies.dta
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Carlos Scartascini,
Nov 19, 2012, 8:30 AM
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Carlos Scartascini,
Oct 26, 2012, 2:58 PM
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