Bureaucrats and Policy Making: A Comparative Overview

By Ezra N. Suleiman | Go to book overview

PARTIES, POLITICS, AND THE
STATE IN CHILE

The Higher Civil Service

Arturo Valenzuela

Even before the election of Salvador Allende to the presidency of Chile in 1970, and his abortive attempt to bring about a socialist society within the framework of democratic procedures, the Chilean state had evolved into an awesome set of structures and institutions active in all reaches of national life. No other Latin American country, with the exception of Cuba, had as prominent a public sector. Direct public investment represented well over 50 percent of all gross investment and state agencies controlled over 50 percent of all credit. Government expenditures accounted for 24.2 percent of the Gross National Product (46.9 percent if decentralized agencies and state enterprises are included), and the state bureaucracy employed over 13 percent of the economically active population. The government development corporation owned majority shares in 39 key productive enterprises and minority shares in another 80. Medical care was administered by a national health service, and over 150 public and semipublic agencies managed a vast network of pension plans and social security programs. The state played an important role in labor

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