NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

On the Sequencing of Structural Reforms

Sebastian Edwards

NBER Working Paper No. 3138
Issued in October 1989
NBER Program(s):   ITI   IFM

Both OECD and developing economies have embarked on structural reforms aimed at dismantling regulations and reducing the extent of distortions affecting different sectors of their economies. Regardless of the marked difference, both groups have to deal with the problems of the appropriate sequencing and speed of reforms. This paper first critically reviews the LDCs' related literature on sequencing and speed of structural reforms drawing out features which are of relevance for OECD economies. The paper then develops a formal framework based on a welfare criterion for evaluating efficiency effects of structural policies paying particular attention to the way in which distortions interact both intra and inter-temporally. The framework is then used to discuss some of the important issues such as the sequencing of micro and macro reforms ("competition of instruments"), broad front versus sequential reforms, and the role of policy credibility.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3138

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