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Elections provide a mandate to pursue a set of policies. Party label provides a concise ideological cue for voters to choose among candidates, and research on industrial democracies verifies a link between the parties voters elect and subsequent policy outcomes. The combination of inchoate party systems and economic vulnerability elsewhere may weaken the link between voter choice and policy. When examining economic policies in Latin America, there is some controversy as to whether governments carried out “reform by surprise”—promising one thing during a campaign while implementing another in office. We test whether the ideological reputations of executives’ and legislators’ parties explain whether they adopt market-oriented policies. We find that the future behavior of presidential candidates is difficult for voters to predict. However, the ideological reputation of legislators is a reliable predictor of policy outcomes, and the relationship is clarified by the prospects of collective action by legislative delegations.