Liberty Review América Latina

The Distributive Politics of Enforcement


Abstract: Why do some politicians tolerate the violation of the law? In contexts where the poor are the primary violators of property laws, I argue that the answer lies in the electoral costs of enforcement: Enforcement can decrease support from poor voters even while it generates support among nonpoor voters. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ciencia Política

Informality and Development


Abstract: We establish five facts about the informal economy in developing countries. First, it is huge, reaching about half of the total in the poorest countries. Second, it has extremely low productivity compared to the formal economy: informal firms are typically small, inefficient, and run by poorly educated entrepreneurs. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ciencia Política, Derecho, Economía

Taxing with Dictators and Democrats: Regime Effects, Transfers and Revenue in Argentina’s Provinces


Abstract: Political institutions strongly influence incentives to tax. In this article, I examine differences across national regimes in provincial taxation in Argentina from 1959–2001 and compare them to sub-national regimes under national democracy. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ciencia Política, Economía

América Latina Archive

Recent Posts: Liberty Review

Reassessing the productivity gains from trade liberalization

JAEBIN AHN, ERA DABLA-NORRIS, ROMAIN DUVAL, BINGJIE HU, LAMIN NJIE REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS Abstract: This paper reassesses the impact of trade liberalization on productivity. We build a new, unique database of effective tariff rates at the country‐industry level for a broad range of countries over the past two decades. We then explore both the direct […]

Government extraction and firm size: Local officials’ responses to fiscal distress in China

YU LIU JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS Abstract: This paper studies how government extraction behaviors respond to local fiscal distress in China. We exploit the 2002 Chinese Income Tax Reform which exogenously cut local government revenues from income taxes roughly by half. We find that, when facing fiscal distress, local officials resort to informal taxes, such as […]

Plato’s Concept of Liberty in the Laws

YOUNG, C. HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT Abstract: In this article, I argue that Isaiah Berlin’s distinction between positive and negative concepts of liberty is useful for articulating nuanced aspects of Platonic liberty, but that this terminology has led readers to fail to grasp the full dimensions of Plato’s conception of liberty and the essential virtue that […]

Hands, Not Lands: John Locke, Immigration and the ‘Great Art of Government’

SMITH, B. HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT Abstract: This paper looks at the transmigration of peoples in Locke’s thought, particularly the migration of foreigners into England. I pay close attention to the ‘great art of government’ passage in the Second Treatise which shows that rather than exhibiting a hard right to exclude aliens, rulers are obligated to […]

A Schumpeterian Model of Top Income Inequality

CHARLES I. JONES, JIHEE KIM JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Abstract: Top income inequality rose sharply in the United States over the last 40 years but increased only slightly in France and Japan. Why? We explore a model in which heterogeneous entrepreneurs, broadly interpreted, exert effort to generate exponential growth in their incomes, which tends to raise […]

Gordon Tullock’s Legacy

PETER BOETTKE AND ROSOLINO CANDELA, RICHARD WAGNER, WILLIAM SHUGHART, AND RANDALL HOLCOMBE THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW 23.2 Abstract: Trained as a lawyer and practiced in the arts of war and diplomacy, Gordon Tullock opened economists’ eyes to new ways of viewing constitutional construction, the challenges of bureaucracy, the nature of government regulations, the problem of rent […]

The Hayek-Friedman hypothesis on the press: is there an association between economic freedom and press freedom?

CHRISTIAN BJØRNSKOV JOURNAL OF INSTITUTIONAL ECONOMICS Abstract: The Hayek–Friedman hypothesis states that economic freedom is causally associated with stable democracy. I test a particular element of the hypothesis focusing on press freedom, which is arguably a necessary component of any democratic polity. Combining the Freedom House index of press freedom and the Heritage Foundation Index of […]

The Birth of Pork: Local Appropriations in America’s First Century

SANFORD C. GORDON and HANNAH K. SIMPSON AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW, Volume 112, Issue 3 Abstract: After describing a newly assembled dataset consisting of almost 9,000 local appropriations made by the U.S. Congress between 1789 and 1882, we test competing accounts of the politics surrounding them before offering a more nuanced, historically contingent view of the […]

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