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Markets and Hierarchies in Social Services in Latin America: Incentives, Institutions, and Politics

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Name of the Asset | Markets and Hierarchies in Social Services in Latin America: Incentives, Institutions, and Politics
Type of Asset | Working Paper
Date | September 2009

Summary

Quasi-markets are a key strategy to reform the government, by subjecting public employees to the same sorts of market pressures, incentives, and sanctions as those encountered every day by employees in the private sector. The central focus in this paper has been on analyzing the introduction of market pressures into the provision of social services.

The paper finds that information flows, variable incentives, solving principal-agent dilemmas, and various routes of accountability are needed to improve the provision of social services, and also that these factors are likely to figure in the analysis of most types of reform and across a wide range of stakeholders including political actors, employees, and consumers.

Another conclusion from a survey of attempts to introduce quasi-markets is that each reform is partial and particular, as are reforms more generally in social services, making it difficult to isolate the net impact of the reform compared with other changes in the broader institutional or political environment.  

Authors:

  • Armando Castelar Pinheiro, Gávea Investimentos
  • Ben Ross Schneider, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Country and/or Region | Latin America
Name of the Program | Global Research Project 'Varieties of Governance: Effective Public Service Delivery'
Funder(s) | Supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada; and The World Bank.

Download the Full Study here

If you cite this resource, please notify communications@gdn.int with the subject line 'GDN citation'.

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