International Coercion, Emulation and Policy Diffusion: Market-Oriented Infrastructure Reforms, 1977-1999

82 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2004

See all articles by Witold J. Henisz

Witold J. Henisz

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department

Bennet A. Zelner

Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

Mauro F. Guillen

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department

Date Written: June 17, 2004

Abstract

Why do some countries adopt market-oriented reforms such as deregulation, privatization and liberalization of competition in their infrastructure industries while others do not? Why did the pace of adoption accelerate in the 1990s? Building on neo-institutional theory in sociology, we argue that the domestic adoption of market-oriented reforms is strongly influenced by international pressures of coercion and emulation. We find robust support for these arguments with an event-history analysis of the determinants of reform in the telecommunications and electricity sectors of as many as 205 countries and territories between 1977 and 1999. Our results also suggest that the coercive effect of multilateral lending from the IMF, the World Bank or Regional Development Banks is increasing over time, a finding that is consistent with anecdotal evidence that multilateral organizations have broadened the scope of the conditionality terms specifying market-oriented reforms imposed on borrowing countries. We discuss the possibility that, by pressuring countries into policy reform, cross-national coercion and emulation may not produce ideal outcomes.

Keywords: Privatization, deregulation, liberalization, infrastructure, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Multileral Institutions, Development, Reform, Globalization, Adoption, International

JEL Classification: O19, F02, F42, H11, L33, L96, L94, N70, P16, C41

Suggested Citation

Henisz, Witold Jerzy and Zelner, Bennet A. and Guillen, Mauro Federico, International Coercion, Emulation and Policy Diffusion: Market-Oriented Infrastructure Reforms, 1977-1999 (June 17, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=557140 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.557140

Witold Jerzy Henisz (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department ( email )

The Wharton School
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States
215-898-0788 (Phone)
215-898-0401 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www-management.wharton.upenn.edu/henisz/

Bennet A. Zelner

Duke University's Fuqua School of Business ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

Mauro Federico Guillen

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department ( email )

The Wharton School
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States
215-573-6267 (Phone)
215-326-3205 (Fax)

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