Market Reforms and Reelection: Are They Compatible?

March 4, 2008
“We all know what to do, but we don’t know how to get re-elected once we have done it,” said Jan-Claude Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg. He was referring to a key political conundrum faced by leaders in most democracies, including members of the European Union and the United States, who realize the need for economic reforms but often fail to tackle them out of fear of voters’ displeasure. Munkhammar argues in his new book The Guide to Reform that many supposed obstacles to reform are not obstacles at all and shows that almost all of the reformist governments in the OECD have been reelected. His book discusses successful reforms in, among other nations, Ireland, Spain, and Sweden, and offers practical advice on how to get them done.

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