Mobilizing Resources in Latin America:  The Political Economy of
Tax Reform in Chile and Argentina.   Palgrave MacMillan.  2011

Link to the book at



summary:  The book tracks the evolution of tax policy in Chile and Argentina in order to understand why their efforts to build fiscal capacity--defined as consolidating a higher-yielding and reasonably stable tax system within the framework of an improved state-society fiscal pact--succeded or failed.  It follows a chronological and inductive approach to describing and analyzing tax policy, providing a unique window into the nature of the revenue policymaking process in two Latin American nations.  In the process, broader insights can be gained into the larger question about why Chile has become the “tiger economy” of the region while Argentina has been such a persistent economic underachiever.  The study seeks to expand analytically on standard institutionalist accounts of taxation by bringing into the explanatory framework the importance of institutional strength (not just design).  It also highlights the importance of informal institutions (in addition to formal ones) for tax reform.