Political Determinants of Fiscal Discipline in Latin America, 1979-1998

Presented at the meeting of the Latin American Studies Association in Washington, D.C., from 5-8 September, 2001, this paper examines the impact of political and budget institutions on fiscal performance. The authors claim that higher levels of partisan support in the legislature combined with a strong presidential commitment to fiscal discipline can explain the lower levels of government spending and improved fiscal performance.The paper offers a dynamic index of legislative support and uses time series data for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, and Venezuela.