New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2008‒08‒31
three papers chosen by

  1. Are One-Best-Way Models of Effective Government Suitable for Developing Countries? By Andrews, Matthew
  2. Tangos, Sambas or Belly Dancing? Or, do Spreads Dance to the Same Rhythm? Signaling Regime Sustainability in Argentina, Brazil and Turkey By Santiago Herrera; Ferhan Salman
  3. Individual Attitudes Towards Others, Misanthropy Analysis in a Cross-Country Perspective By Natalia Melgar; Máximo Rossi; Tom W. Smith

  1. By: Andrews, Matthew (Harvard U)
    Abstract: Effective government matters, but what is it? Good governance indicators go some way to provide a definition, but how much do they say about what effectiveness is, why this is so, and how it matters to development? This is the current article's question. It argues that good governance work suggests a one-best-way model ostensibly of an idyllic, developed country government: Sweden or Denmark on a good day, perhaps. The model lacks consistency, however, seems inappropriate for use in the development dialog and is not easily convey-able, looking more like a set of well meaning but problematic proverbs. The good governance picture of effective government is not only of limited use in development but also constitutes a threat, promoting isomorphism, institutional dualism, and 'flailing states' and imposing an inappropriate model of government that "kicks away the ladder" today's effective governments climbed to reach their current states. The model's major weakness lies in the lack of an effective underlying theoretical framework. A theory of government is needed before we measure government effectiveness or propose specific models of what government should look like. Such theory should address basic questions that center on the fit of different governing systems to different contexts.
    Date: 2008–03
  2. By: Santiago Herrera; Ferhan Salman
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Natalia Melgar (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Máximo Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Tom W. Smith (NORC - University of Chicago)
    Abstract: In general, misanthropy has been analyzed taking into account residents of one country and just comparing results. Instead of doing that, we employ 2004 International Social Survey Program and analyze its determinants in a cross-country model taking into account both individual characteristics and country effects. Our model shows, as expected, that misanthropy could be explained by some sociodemographic and economic individual characteristics. For instance, being a woman, having a university degree, being married lowers misanthropy while being young; having a low income, having no political preferences, being self-employed makes people more misanthropic. Moreover, in order to capture fix effects, we included (dummies) variables per country of residence and almost all of them result significant in determining misanthropy. This last result indicates that not only individual characteristics matters but also some factors regarding context also play a significant role. Finally, we show that there is a strong relationship among our misanthropy ranking of countries and two corruption perception rankings.
    Keywords: misanthropy, trust, cross-country research, individual attitudes
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2008–07

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