Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE)
Recent publications
Whether transparency policies are an effective tool for fighting corruption is still under debate. Some scholars have argued that making information available is insufficient for effective transparency. This effectiveness is moderated by the citizens' motivation to use the information and how public officers generate and store information. The latter suggests certain practices could undermine the value of information, but we still do not know enough about those. We argue that practices generating opacity are a way to undermine the value of information. To investigate this, we used a qualitative approach to explore the conditions or practices causing opacity in Mexican municipal governments. We found four tactics public officers use to generate opacity and three institutional conditions that allow it. These findings provide further insights into how the processing and use of information affect the effectiveness of transparency.
In connection with the democratic transition in Mexico, several autonomous organisms were created by constitutional amendment, in significant public policy areas. However, these same organisms came under increasing criticism over the past years, as technocratic and illegitimate, in the country's national media. Institutional confrontation followed. We discuss this conflict employing our own theoretical proposal on sources of bureaucratic legitimacy. Furthermore, based on key informant interviews, we examine the understanding of senior officials who serve at autonomous organisms about their role in Mexican democracy, and how this understanding informs and orients their work toward strengthening the legitimacy of their own institutions.
A key insight in the literature on administrative burdens and exclusion is that they can be a form of policymaking by other means to disincentivize people's access to services, rights, and benefits. Using the case of the Dutch daycare benefit scandal, in which tens of thousands of citizens were wrongfully accused of welfare fraud and subsequently excluded from benefits, we argue for a broader understanding of the way administrative burdens can be constructed. We introduce the concept of the ‘infrastructure‐level bureaucracy’ to understand how new forms of intra‐ and supra‐organizational data exchange and algorithmic analysis can lead bureaucracies to fail to understand the reasoning underlying their own administrative decisions and, subsequently, cause Kafkaesque situations for citizens. Our findings point towards the importance of institutional analyses of the way information technologies structure political and operational behavior as well as the burdens that citizens may face in their interactions with the state.
Innovations in digital government are changing state–citizen interactions. While often seen as means to increase government efficiency and reduce compliance costs for citizens, a growing body of literature suggests citizens may also experience administrative burdens in such interactions. This article aims to provide some cohesion to the existing research and makes three specific contributions. First, it carves out a conceptual common ground by identifying digital administrative burdens and digital bureaucratic encounters as specific objects of study. Second, automated administrative decision making, digital interactions, and data-assisted decision making are identified as contemporary practices of particular relevance for future studies on the intersection of digital government and administrative burden. Studies suggest learning costs and psychological costs may be especially prevalent in digital bureaucratic encounters and that they often have distributive effects. Third, the article concludes with the formulation of several research themes for the further development of the field.
The United States' racial history infrequently defines the representativeness of bureaucracies outside of the United States. This article explores how selective historical memories and insufficiently critical concept importations limit disciplinary understandings. We articulate how policy transfer assumptions, narrow administrative histories, methodological Whiteness, and incomplete considerations of non‐West administration alter our understanding of what is or is not representative bureaucracy. We encourage scholars to recall how concepts like representative bureaucracy may lack exact comparability outside the West and to be open to its potential alteration by contextual circumstances. The implications for further exploration of the representative bureaucracy concept and the challenges for pedagogy are also discussed.
In this paper we analyze the links between the agent’s reservation utility, bargaining power, and risk aversion in terms of their simultaneous effects on the structure of optimal static contracts. We compare the following principal-agent models in the symmetric and asymmetric information environments: the standard approach, which includes a participation constraint, and a multi-objective (MO) optimization approach in which the objective function is a convex combination of the expected utilities of the principal and the agent. The MO model does not include a participation constraint, but it includes a parameter for the agent’s bargaining power. We also study an Evolutionary Algorithm implementation of the static principal-agent model to support and extend our analytical results. We show that the numerical solution approximated by our implementation of an evolutionary algorithm is in line with the analytical solutions mentioned before. That is, for every admissible value of the agent’s reservation utility, there is a corresponding admissible value of the agent’s bargaining parameter, both in the MO approach and the EA implementation.
This paper tests and quantifies the effects of reduced funding liquidity conditions on the covered interest parity (CIP) relating the U.S. Dollar-Mexican Peso market. To this end, a vector error-correction model is estimated. Results suggest, first, that apparent deviations from the CIP disappear when measures of funding liquidity for market participants are considered. Second, the exchange rate forward premium and the U.S. interest rate adjust towards the CIP cointegrating relationship. Finally, a structural analysis shows that deviations from CIP are mostly determined by shocks on the funding liquidity in the U.S. while funding liquidity conditions in Europe also have a non-negligible role. From the policy perspective, the paper underlies the relevance of funding liquidity measures when assessing whether the foreign exchange market works efficiently. As ever, there are some caveats in the analysis to consider. First, funding liquidity measures may shift from non- to stationary regimes. Second, market participants may not able to fund their liquidity at reference rates. The financial series present considerable ARCH-like behaviour, this may be a source of information to explore in further work.
The paper presents an exploratory case study on the operation of intergovernmental relations (IGR) in Mexico during the management of the COVID-19 pandemic to identify and explain the main conflicts faced in the management of the emergency. The main findings are: Mexico is undergoing an aggressive re-centralization process encouraged by inequalities among states and their lack of professional public administrative systems; 2) formal rules for balancing IGR lose value versus informal rules based on transitory political-partisan agreements; 3) the weakness of the rule of law, power imbalances, lack of clear rules, and communication problems difficult intergovernmental collaboration in emergencies management.
Positive sentiments towards urban green spaces (UGS) unequivocally increased worldwide amid COVID-19. In contrast, this paper documents that views on mobility restrictions applicable to UGS are of a contested nature. That is, while residents unambiguously report positive sentiments towards UGS, they do not share views on how to administer access to UGS—which is a matter of public policy. These contesting views reflect opposite demands that managers of UGS had to balance during the pandemic as they faced the challenge of reducing risk of spread while providing services that support physical and mental health of residents. The empirical analysis in this paper relies on views inferred through a text classification algorithm implemented on Twitter messages posted from January to October 2020, by urban residents in three Latin American countries—Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico—and Spain. The focus on Latin America is motivated by the documented lack of compliance with mobility restrictions; Spain works as a comparison point to learn differences with respect to other regions. Understanding and following in real-time the evolution of contesting views amid a pandemic is useful for managers and city planners to inform adaptation measures—e.g. communication strategies can be tailored to residents with specific views.
Experiencing an extreme weather event and its consequences might make the risks associated with climate change more tangible, easier to evaluate, and more salient. Consequently, those experiences might translate into the adoption of pro-environmental behaviours. Understanding this relationship is fundamental for the successful design of policies aimed towards promoting the adoption of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. This work contributes to the literature by showing that there is in fact a positive relation between experiencing an extreme weather event and willingness to take pro-environmental actions. The prevailing available evidence is for developed countries. Our empirical analysis is based on a nationally representative sample of households from Mexico, a developing country that is highly vulnerable to the effects of extreme weather events.
Retaining valuable employees is a critical task for public organizations to present themselves as competent and efficient to their multiple audiences. However, despite the importance of staff mobility dynamics for public organizations, retention is an issue that has not been thoroughly studied in human resource management research. In the case of Mexico, retaining the most valuable staff is becoming more difficult because its public administration is characterized by corruption and patronage. The article argues that reputation sustains a reciprocity exchange between employees and employers, which is reflected in longterm labor relationships. Using a survey of employees of five Constitutional Autonomous Agencies in Mexico, the article shows that having a positive reputation is a crucial factor for public employees when deciding whether to stay or leave their jobs. The findings imply that building and maintaining a positive reputation must be relevant for public managers because of its implications for HRM.
In the last three decades, legal delegation of monetary policy to independent central banks (CBI) has achieved the status of a global norm of good governance. The recent backlash against this independence is an important but understudied trend. Our article analyzes the potential for delegation reversals with a focus on Latin America where CBI was effective in maintaining price stability, but placed important policy constraints on governments. We theorize that, in the shadow of the global norm for CBI, the increasing distance in preferences between the government and the central bank, and the procedural hurdles to change the status quo, explain the intensity of challenges to the delegation contract or the delegated agent. An analysis of the frequency of irregular central bank leadership replacements, and instances of politicization and de‐delegation show the plausibility of our argument. We also show that, in Latin America, reforms de‐delegating monetary policy have been small, balancing the needs that justified delegation in the first place, but rolling back the most stringent constraints placed on financing the government.
El gobierno de Juan Velasco (1968-1975) es normalmente distinguido por su discurso humanista y populista de las experiencias dictatoriales, donde la doctrina de seguridad nacional se materializó en una política represiva de persecución a la izquierda. Este artículo trata de estudiar las luchas políticas concretas que tuvo que enfrentar el gobierno y la represión que desplegó para aplastar la disidencia, especialmente de la «ultraizquierda». El objetivo de este artículo es presentar tres casos de represión: Huanta, Pamplona y Cobriza a través de las actas del consejo de ministros y las publicaciones Oiga y Caretas; asimismo, analizar el proceso de toma de decisiones y justificación de la violencia estatal. Esta revisión mostrará que el gobierno no tenía una idea unitaria sobre el uso de la represión, ya que la violencia durante esta época siguió un patrón de larga duración y, en ese sentido, finalmente la represión se impuso como hábito y marcó la conflictiva relación entre el sindicalismo magisterial y minero con el gobierno militar de Velasco.
El artículo trata el tema de la (muy activa) política exterior de México en torno a la regulación de las armas de fuego y la falta de cumplimiento interno de varios de los tratados que la cancillería impulsa en foros multilaterales alrededor de este tema. Como hipótesis principal, se propone que la brecha entre la política exterior activa y la falta de medidas a nivel interno se explica por la resistencia de actores internos y la ausencia de una política de Estado articulada y coherente en torno a las armas a nivel federal. Si bien la cancillería ha adoptado una política activista y protagónica sobre el tema, ésta se inscribe más bien en la tradición diplomática que favorece el desarme, la no proliferación y la solución pacífica de los conflictos. Se argumenta que las recientes acciones diplomáticas que han respondido al tráfico ilícito de armas han sido iniciativas aisladas de la cancillería. Además de contribuir a la literatura sobre la interacción entre la política exterior y la política interna en torno a las armas de fuego (tema que ha recibido atención insuficiente), el propósito de este texto es presentar un análisis integral de la política del Estado mexicano sobre este tema, incluyendo sus contradicciones y áreas de oportunidad.
Over the last 12 years, Mexico has become one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist. We examine how this risk-environment influences the content and strategies of reporting at one of Mexico’s most well known national newspapers, Reforma. We argue that as the risk environment worsens, journalists use less specific language about armed actors to report on violent events. To test our claims, we turn to three novel sources of data: the first captures granular information about attacks against journalists, the second uses natural language processing to measure changes in reporting overtime; and the third incorporates interviews from journalists themselves. We show that as violence against journalists increases, news story specificity decreases. Importantly, our findings reveal the ways in which journalists develop protection strategies to ensure high quality reporting, even under risky conditions and highlight the critical link between risk and information environments in areas of protracted violence.
Instead of focusing on “why voters appear to tolerate rather than punish” as most previous literature, this paper advances an alternative explanation: it seeks to explain how voters process information about corruption. Consistent with research on public opinion formation, this paper argues that voters can perceive the same event and make different interpretation about its meaning. Based on an original survey experiment conducted during the 2018 presidential election in Mexico, this study finds that citizens hold partisan attitudes and are motivated to protect these partisan predispositions, which make them interpret common events in different way. In particular, when this study informed voters that an unnamed candidate engaged in corruption, respondents unequivocally considered such actions as corrupt. However, when the name of their co-partisan candidate was explicitly mentioned as engaging in the same activities, voters rejected to qualify them as corrupt. Partisans are not “tolerating” or “condoning” corruption; partisans tend to choose interpretations that rationalize their partisan priors and justify their co-partisans’ behavior.
Using price data from the lower 48 states, we find that regional natural gas market in the US has become less integrated since the rise of shale production. Price pairs for those states with significant shale production, as well as for major consumption states, show a particularly high reduction in integration. However, the degree of integration has stabilized in recent years, especially after 2016. For state pairs with integrated prices, we show that it takes longer to correct any disequilibrium from the long-run price relationship during the shale boom, indicating slower information transmission. Pipeline capacity and distances play a key role in determining information transmission throughout the sample period, while production, consumption, and storage levels have become more important in recent years. The analysis suggests significant welfare gains from efforts to improve natural gas market integration, such as pipeline and storage capacity expansion projects.
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Judith Mariscal
  • Public Administration
Henio Hoyo
  • International Studies
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