“Price Control Policies and State Capacities. Discipline, transfers and informal networks of control, monitoring and punishment. The “Precios Cuidados” Program in Argentina and its acceptance by local retailers”.
Quiroga, Juan Pablo
The so called price control policies have traditionally been understood in terms of concerns about (a) the role and size of the bureaucracy implied (Taussig, 1919, Grayson and Neeb, 1974; Clinard, 1969; Rockoff, 1984; Galbraith, 1941 and 1946); (b) the (potential) short term effectiveness and medium/long term ineffectiveness of controls (Rockoff, 1984, Grayson and Neeb, 1974; Bienen and Gersovitz, 1986, FIEL, 1990); (c) the tax evasion and creation of black markets (Clinard, 1969); (d) the eventual emerging violence following the dismantling of controls or subsidies on consumer goods (Bienen and Gersovitz, 1986; van Wijnberger, 1992); (e) the potential impact on the government coalition (Agéndor and Asilis, 1997); (f) the levels of delivery, fill rates or even any breaks in supply chains (Grayson and Neeb, 1974; Clinard, 1969); (g) the incentives/distortions in the distribution of resources, as a result of the alteration of the price system (Galbraith, 1941, 1946, 1951, 2001; Friedman, 1990; Colander, 1984; Dunn and Pressman, 2005); (h) the search for focused or selftargeted alternatives in order to optimize the use of limited resources and prevent freeriding (Adams, s / f; Alderman, 2002; Gutner, 2002); and (k) its historical development as a political response to rising prices (Schuettinger and Butler, 1978).However, little has been studied its contribution to the development of state capacities as well as the role of entrepreneurship in the acceptance of price controls.In this sense, this thesis analyzes the first year of the "Precios Cuidados" program in force in Argentina since January 2014, in order to address two interrelated questions:(a) To what extent the “Precios Cuidados” Program, as a particular and specific form of joint coordination between public and private sector, favored the development and expansion of state capacities?(b) If it is true, as it will be argued, that this new form of joint articulation between the public and private sector contributes to expand state capacities, why did the retail community agree to take part of a voluntary agreement to freeze prices and markups that in the end would help to increase the relative powers of the agencies by which they are controlled without effective guarantees of limits to its exercise?A public policy, in a word, that will give us the unique opportunity to analyze the link between state, market and society and its effect on market regulation and the improvement of state capacities.
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