Research Economist

Carlos Scartascini

Carlos Scartascini holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Economics from George Mason University, and a Licenciatura en Economía from Universidad Nacional del Sur in Argentina. At George Mason, he was awarded the William Snavely Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies in Economics. He currently holds a position as Principal Economist at the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank.

At the Bank, he has led several projects that have policy implications such as his work on understanding the determinants of the demand of public policies, the role of information in individual decisions, which has been applied successfully in several projects increasing voluntary tax compliance (here a short summary video), on tax reform in Latin America, on the development of medium term fiscal frameworks and budgeting for results, on budget institutions, on policymaking in Latin America –including studies on the causes and determinants of institutionalization-, and the causes and impact of protests in policymaking, among many others.

Regarding academic production, he has published in some of the most prestigious journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Industrial Economics, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Journal of Theoretical Politics, the European Journal of Political Economy, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution. He has presented his work at more than one hundred conferences and seminars.

Additionally, he is the co-editor of six books: ¿Quiénes deciden la política social? (Inter-American Development Bank, 2015), Policymaking in Latin America: How Politics Shapes Policies (Harvard University Press, 2008), Who Decides the Budget? The Political Economy of the Budget Process in Latin America (Harvard University Press, 2009; also in Spanish from Mayol, 2010), Consecuencias imprevistas de la Constitución de 1991: La influencia de la política en las políticas económicas (Alfaomega, 2010), How Democracy Works. Political Institutions, Actors, and Arenas in Latin American Policymaking (Harvard University Press, 2010), and El juego político en América Latina. ¿Cómo se deciden las políticas públicas?(Mayol, 2011).

SELECTED OPINION PIECES

"Reforming Constitutions: A Pandora’s Box" Ideas Matter. January 2017.

"Public Information on Vaccines Can Be a Matter of Life and Death" Ideas Matter. January 2017.

"Behavioral Economics for Better Public Policies" Ideas Matter. December 2016.

"Chile’s Constitutional Reform: IDB Seminar Aims to Get It Right" Ideas Matter. November 2016.

"Is Being ‘Smart’ About Taxes A Contagious Disorder?" Ideas Matter. October 2016.

"Fighting Zika: The Need for Sustained But Flexible Messaging" Ideas Matter. September 2016.

"Want People to Pay Their Taxes? Try a Visit" Ideas Matter. December 2015.

"Who Decides Social Policy?" Ideas matter. August 2015

(Additional material here)

BOOKS

El Juego Político en América Latina: ¿Cómo se deciden las políticas públicas? (w/ Pablo T. Spiller, Ernesto Stein and Mariano Tommasi). Bogotá, Colombia: Mayol Ediciones. 2011.

How Democracy Works. Political Institutions, Actors, and Arenas in Latin American Policymaking (w/Ernesto Stein and Mariano Tommasi). Washington, DC: IDB and DRCLAS, Harvard University. 2010.

Consecuencias Imprevistas de la Constitución de 1991: La influencia de la política en las políticas económicas (w/ Eduardo Lora). Bogotá, Colombia: Fedesarrollo and Alfaomega. 2009.

Who Decides the Budget? The Political Economy of the Budget Process in Latin America (w/Mark Hallerberg and Ernesto Stein). Bogotá, Colombia: Mayol Ediciones. 2009.

Policymaking in Latin America: How Politics Shapes Policies (w/ Pablo T. Spiller, Ernesto Stein and Mariano Tommasi). Washington, DC: IDB and DRCLAS, Harvard University. 2008

REFEREED JOURNAL ARTICLES

"Explaining Changes in Tax Burdens in Latin America: DoPolitics Trump Economics?" (w/ M. Hallerberg). European Journal of Political Economy. Forthcoming.

"Tax Reforms in Latin America" (w/D. Focanti and M. Hallerberg). Latin American Research Review 51(1): 132-158. 2016.

"On the Institutionalization of Congress(es) in Latin America and Beyond" (w/V. Palanza and M. Tommasi). Legislative Studies Quarterly 41(1): 7-34. February 2016.

"Tax Compliance and Enforcement in the Pampas. Evidence from a Field Experiment" (w/L. Castro). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 116: 65–82. August 2015.

"Are We All Playing the Same Game? The Economic Effects of Constitutions Depend on the Degree of Institutionalization" (w/G. Caruso and M. Tommasi) European Journal of Political Economy 38: 212–228.June 2015.

"When Do Governments Improve Fiscal Institutions? Lessons from Financial Crisis and Fiscal Reform in Latin America" (w/M. Hallerberg). Economia 16(1): 41-76. Fall 2015.

"Does Energy Consumption Respond to Price Shocks? Evidence from a Regression-Discontinuity Design"(w/P. Bastos, L. Castro, and J. Cristia). Journal of Industrial Economics 63(2): 249–278, June 2015.

"The Economic Effects of Constitutions: Do Budget Institutions Make Forms of Government More Alike?"(w/M. Ardanaz). Constitutional Political Economy 25(3): 301-329. September 2014.

"Veto Players and Policy Adaptability. An Intertemporal Perspective"(w/E. Stein and M. Tommasi). Journal of Theoretical Politics 26(2): 222–248. April 2014.

"The Presidency and the Executive Branch in Latin America: What We Know and What We Need to Know" (w/A. Bonvecchi). Latin American Politics and Society 56 (1):144–165. Spring 2014.

“Inequality and Personal Income Taxation: The Origins and Effects of Legislative Malapportionment” (w/M. Ardanaz). Comparative Political Studies 46(12): 1636-1663. December 2013.

“Political Institutions, Intertemporal Cooperation, and the Quality of Policies” (w/E. Stein and M. Tommasi). Journal of Applied Economics 16(1): 1-32. May 2013.

“The Making of Policy: Institutionalized or Not?” (w/M. Tommasi). American Journal of Political Science 56(4): 787-801. October 2012.

“The Politics of Financial Development: The Role of Interest Groups and Government Capabilities” (w/O. Becerra, and E. Cavallo). Journal of Banking and Finance 36(3): 626–643. March 2012.

“Political Institutions and Street Protests in Latin America” (w/F. Machado and M. Tommasi). Journal of Conflict Resolution 55(3): 340-365. June 2011.

OTHER JOURNAL ARTICLES

“Why Don’t We Tax the Rich? Inequality, Legislative Malapportionment, and Personal Income Taxation Around the World” (w/M. Ardanaz). International Journal of Public Budget 78, March/April. 2012

“Economic Crisis and Fiscal Reforms in Latin America” (w/M. Hallerberg). International Journal of Public Budget 76: 71-104. 2011.

“Los Marcos de Mediano Plazo y el Proceso Presupuestario en America Latina” (w/G. Filc). Trimestre Fiscal 90, September, pp. 187-244. 2009.

“Budget Institutions and Fiscal Outcomes” (w/G. Filc). International Journal of Public Budget 59, Nov-Dec, pp. 81-138. 2005.

BOOK CHAPTERS

“El análisis de redes sociales y la política social en América Latina (W/A. Bonvecchi, J. Johannsen, and N. Morales) in ¿Quiénes Deciden la Política Social? Economía política de programas sociales en América Latina, Bonvecchi et al. (eds). Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2015.

“La economía política de las políticas públicas” in ¿Quiénes Deciden la Política Social? Economía política de programas sociales en América Latina, Bonvecchi et al. (eds). Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2015.

“La economía política de la política social: de las instituciones a las redes sociales” (W/A. Bonvecchi) in ¿Quiénes Deciden la Política Social? Economía política de programas sociales en América Latina, Bonvecchi et al. (eds). Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2015.

“Institucionalización de las instituciones políticas y su impacto sobre las políticas públicas” (w/M. Tommasi) in Nuevo Institucionalismo: Gobernanza, Economía y Políticas Públicas, X. C. Arias and G. Caballero (eds.) Madrid, Spain: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas. 2013

“Economic Crisis, Bureaucratic Capacity, and Fiscal Reforms in Europe and Latin America” (w/M. Hallerberg) Forthcoming. European Commission.

“The Politics of Taxation” (w/F. Machado and E. Stein) in A. Corbacho, V. Fretes and E. Lora (eds.) More than Revenue. Taxation as a Development Tool. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. 2013.

“How (Not) to Produce Effective Policies? Institutions and Policymaking in Latin America” (w/Mariano Tommasi) in The Oxford Handbook of Latin American Political Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2012.

El presupuesto por resultados en América Latina: un análisis de economía política de sus determinantes” (w/G. Filc) in Reforma fiscal en América Latina. ¿Qué fiscalidad para qué desarrollo? Santiago, Chile: CEPAL and CIDOB. 2012. Pp 145-192

How (Not) to Produce Effective Policies? Institutions and Policymaking in Latin America” (w/Mariano Tommasi) in The Oxford Handbook of Latin American Political Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2012.

“Political Institutions, Policymaking, and Economic Policy in Latin America” (w/Martín Ardanaz and Mariano Tommasi) in The Oxford Handbook of Latin American Economics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2011.

“¿Cómo se juega en America Latina? Instituciones políticas, procesos de negociación y políticas públicas” (w/ Pablo T. Spiller, Ernesto Stein y Mariano Tommasi) in El Juego Político en América Latina: ¿Cómo se deciden las políticas públicas? Bogotá, Colombia: Mayol Ediciones. 2010.

“¿Quién es quién en el juego político? Describiendo a los actores que intervienen, y sus incentivos y funciones” in El Juego Político en América Latina: ¿Cómo se deciden las políticas públicas?. Bogotá, Colombia: Mayol Ediciones. 2010.

“Political Institutions, Actors, and Arenas in Latin American Policymaking” (w/Ernesto Stein and Mariano Tommasi) in How Democracy Works. Political Institutions, Actors, and Arenas in Latin American Policymaking. Washington, DC: IDB and DRCLAS, Harvard University. 2010.

“The Politics of Productivity” (w/Mariano Tommasi) in The Age of Productivity: Transforming Economies from the Bottom Up. Palgrave Macmillan. 2010.

“Una Cuestion de Enfoque” (w/Eduardo Lora) in Consecuencias Imprevistas de la Constitución de 1991: La Influencia de la Política en las Políticas Económicas. Bogotá, Colombia: Alfaomega. 2009.

“A New Framework” (w/Ernesto Stein) in Who Decides the Budget? A Political Economy Analysis of the Budget Process in Latin America. Washington, DC: IDB and DRCLAS, Harvard University. 2009.

“The Budget Process as a Political Arena” (w/Mark Hallerberg and Ernesto Stein) in Who Decides the Budget? A Political Economy Analysis of the Budget Process in Latin America. Washington, DC: IDB and DRCLAS, Harvard University. 2009.

The People’s Choice? The Role of Opinions in the Policymaking Process” in Beyond Facts: Understanding Quality of Life. Washington, DC: IDB and DRCLAS, Harvard University. 2008.

“Who’s Who in the Policymaking Process: An Overview of Actors, Incentives, and the Roles they Play” in Policymaking in Latin America: How Politics Shapes Policies. Washington, DC: IDB and DRCLAS, Harvard University. 2008.

“Budget Institutions” (w/Gabriel Filc), in The State of State Reform in Latin America, Eduardo Lora (ed.). Stanford University Press. 2007.

“Decentralization, Budget Processes, and Feedback Effects” (w/Gabriel Filc and Ernesto Stein), in The Politics of Policies. Harvard University Press. 2006.

DATABASES

"The Database of Political Institutions 2015 (DPI2015)" (w/ C. Cruz and P. Keefer). IDB Database No. 121.Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank.2016.

"Political Institutions, State Capabilities, and Public Policy: An International Dataset -2013 Update-" (w/ M.Franco Chuaire, H. Berkman, D. Focanti, E. Stein, and M. Tommasi). IDB Database No. 112.Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2013.

"Tax Reforms in Latin America in an Era of Democracy. A Database" (w/D. Focanti and M. Hallerberg). IDB Database No. 111.Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2013.

"Medium-Term Frameworks and the Budgetary Process in Latin America. A Database" (w/ G. Filc). IDB Database No. 014.Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2010.

"Politics, Policies, and Productivity: An International Dataset" (w/ A. Mecikovsky, and M. Tommasi). IDB Database No. 013.Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2010.

"Political Institutions, State Capabilities, and Public Policy: An International Dataset" (w/ H. Berkman, E. Stein, and M. Tommasi). IDB Database No. 012.Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. 2009.

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