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Instrumental incoherence in institutional reform: decentralization as a structural solution to political exigency

Faguet, Jean-Paul ORCID: 0000-0002-7188-0098 and Shami, Mahvish (2015) Instrumental incoherence in institutional reform: decentralization as a structural solution to political exigency. Working Papers (15-170). International Development, LSE, London, UK.

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Abstract

If the effects of institutional reforms are long-term and unpredictable, why do leaders undertake them? We analyze reforms where the incentives of agents pursuing a change, and the effects of that change, are highly asymmetric in time and policy dimensions. We examine detailed evidence from decentralization in Bolivia and Pakistan, and explain very different outcomes with a simple game-theoretic model of the incentives and interactions amongst ruling and opposition parties, and civil society, over multiple periods. Politicians decentralize to solve a discrete, often short-term political problem. But decentralization is neither short-term nor discrete, but rather a deep change in the structure of public finance and authority with long-term effects on government, politics and society. Understanding the original problem is key to understanding the characteristics of the reform implemented, as well as its ultimate success or failure. Our analysis likely extends to a broader class of deep reforms with long-term consequences.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/international-development/res...
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2019 13:06
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2020 23:06
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102638

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