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and political neutralization, resulting in the weakening of fiscal control. The reforms changed the formal institutions of financial scrutiny but did not affect the informal institutions and underlying power relationships in which the system of government accountability is embedded. Conversely, the reform experience of Chile highlights the importance of internalization of institutional innovations. The proposal put forward by the Kemmerer missions in the 1920s were adapted to the legal culture and traditions of the Chilean public administration of that time. Thus, these findings underscore the limits of institutional design and ‘institutional import’ (Dove 2002) as effective reform strategies.

In conclusion, the effectiveness of AAAs ultimately resides in their capacity to generate behavior in the public sector. As such, AAAs must be cast in the broader system of checks and balances in financial governance and the separation of powers in public finance management. This finding, in turns, opens avenues for further research on the determinants of the effectiveness of fiscal institutions, in particular the interactions between the institutions of horizontal and vertical accountability, the capacities and incentives of legislatures to hold governments to account in the management of public finances, and the potential of freedom of information for increasing transparency in public budgeting and fiscal policy. This research should also be extended beyond presidential systems of government to compare and contrast the performance of AAAs in presidential and parliamentary systems.


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