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Political economy studies: are they actionable ? some lessons from Zambia, Volume 1
Author:Beuran, Monica; Raballand, Gael; Kapoor, Kapil; Country:Zambia;
Date Stored:2011/05/09Document Date:2011/05/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Environmental Economics & Policies; Governance Indicators; Public Sector Corruption & Anticorruption Measures; Political Economy; Debt Markets
Report Number:WPS5656Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5656
Volume No:1  

Summary: In recent years, the number of studies looking at the effect of politics on economic outcomes has flourished. For developing economies, these studies are useful to better understand why long overdue reforms are not implemented. The studies analyze the overall context within which reforms are being implemented and the underlying incentive framework. However, it seems difficult to make such studies actionable, especially in sectors where donors have a heavy presence that can sometimes distort incentives in addition to the reluctance from some governments to amend the existing systems in place. This paper focuses on some conclusions emerging from the political economy diagnostics carried out in Zambia in various sectors in recent years. Based on interviews of World Bank task managers, the paper attempts to assess the relevance of these studies for the implementation of projects and the policy dialogue and draws lessons on how they have influenced the implementation of the World Bank's support to programs in various sectors in Zambia as well as the main challenges for this type of exercise.

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