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Regulatory Policy in Latin America: Post-Privatization Realities

Luigi Manzetti, editor
ISBN: 978-1-57454-073-4
2000/301 pages
Distributed for the North-South Center Press
"A much-needed and well-done examination of the current thinking on regulatory policy and the real impact of the region's economic reforms over the last decade."—Melissa H. Birch, Latin American Politics & Society


Privatization policies have swept most of Latin America in recent years, but very little attention has been paid so far to the consequences that the withdrawal of the state in strategic economic sectors is going to entail. The fact that public utilities and financial services are now in private hands makes it imperative that the state redefine its role from that of an entrepreneur to one of an effective regulator, guaranteeing the rights of private investors and consumers alike. However, are Latin American governments suited for this task? How have they tackled this new role?

This edited volume is the first comprehensive attempt to answer these fundamental questions. Given the complexity of regulatory policy and its many dimensions, prominent scholars and experts provide a coherent set of theoretical and empirical studies coming from economics, law, and political science. Regulatory policy in telecommunications, electricity, water, and financial services are analyzed across countries, with a particular emphasis on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Peru. By assessing the record to date and the challenges ahead, the book makes an important contribution to the current debate and is likely to be of great interest among both academics and policymakers.


Luigi Manzetti is associate professor in the department of political science at Southern Methodist University.


  • Introduction—L. Manzetti.
  • Reflections on Efficiency and Government Regulation—A. C. Harberger.
  • Law and Post-Privatization Regulatory Reform: Perspectives from the U.S. Experience—P. Schuck.
  • Transaction Costs, Politics, Regulatory Institutions, and Regulatory Outcomes—A. Estache and D. Martimort.
  • The Political Economy of Regulatory Policy—L. Manzetti.
  • Structuring Prudential Bank Regulation to Promote Efficiency and Safety—G. Kaufman.
  • Reforming Urban Water Systems: A Tale of Four Cities—M. Shirley.
  • Reforming the Electricity Sectors in the Southern Cone: The Chilean and Argentine Experiments—A. Estache and M. Rodríguez-Pardina.
  • Regulating the Telecommunications Sector: The Experience of Latin America—B. Wellenius.
  • Banking Structures, Market Forces, and Economic Freedom—W.C. Gruben.
  • Regulatory Policy in an Unstable Legal Environment: The Case of Argentina—R.P. Saba.
  • Conclusion—L. Manzetti and M. dell'Aquila .