Call for Papers
II Meeting of the Political Economy Network
Cartagena, Colombia, April 6-8, 2000

The political economy of institutional reform

In the last ten years most countries in the region have successfully implemented so-called "first generation" reforms, geared towards restoring basic macroeconomic balances. In many cases, the bulk of these reforms have been undertaken in a rather expedient manner, given that in the correction of these imbalances the executive branch of the state plays a prominent role. In dealing with "second generation" reforms, those which aim at reforming institutions, the scope of action for governments is more limited, as Congress, business organizations, labor unions and vested interests of bureaucracies become very active players.

Few countries have made significant progress in reforming institutions. In many cases, the lack of a coherent political strategy has been a critical element inhibiting the reform process. A review of some key analytical issues, as well as a discussion of successful and unsuccessful institutional reform experiences, should shed important light on the political economy aspects that new reforming countries should be prepared to deal with.

LACEA’s Political Economy Group met for the first time in Cartagena, Colombia in August, 1998. The second meeting is scheduled to take place once again in Cartagena, April 6-8, 2000. This workshop is possible thanks to a grant provided by LACEA to Universidad de los Andes, in order to support the Political Economy Network. The funds come from the Development Grant Facility of the World Bank.

Roberto Steiner (Universidad de Los Andes) and Mariano Tommasi (CEDI-Fundación Gobierno y Sociedad, and Universidad de San Andrés) will be the workshop’s organizers. In addition to two invited papers, we expect to have an additional ten papers, determined through a competitive process. The organization has some funds with which to partially finance the travel expenses of those participants who are not able to obtain complete financial support from their institutions.

If you are interested in submitting an abstract, please do so no later than December 10, 1999. Papers should be submitted before January 31, 2000. The selection process, which will be based on the papers themselves, should be completed by February 15, 2000. Strict compliance with both submission deadlines is necessary in order to eventually apply for financial support. In addition to the organizers, the selection committee includes James Robinson (visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution).

Abstracts and proposals should be send to:
Roberto Steiner
Facultad de Economía
Universidad de Los Andes
Cra. 1E No. 18ª-10
Bogotá, Colombia

Tel. (571)3412240
Fax (571)2815771

Electronic submissions are encouraged.