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Partisanship and the effectiveness of oversight

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  • Fox, Justin
  • Van Weelden, Richard
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    Abstract

    We examine the welfare effects of partisanship in a model of checks and balances. An executive makes a policy proposal and an overseer then decides whether or not to veto the executive's proposal. Both the executive and the overseer have private information as to the correct policy to pursue, and both are motivated by the desire to appear competent. A partisan overseer is one who, in addition to seeking to promote her own reputation, cares how her decision will impact the executive's reputation. Our main result is that partisanship can improve the efficacy of an oversight regime, as the distortions caused by a partisan overseer's desire to affect the executive's reputation can offset the distortions caused by her desire to enhance her own. Our results provide a new rationale for divided government, as partisan considerations are often necessary to prevent the overseer from rubber stamping all executive proposals.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

    Volume (Year): 94 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 9-10 (October)
    Pages: 674-687

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:9-10:p:674-687

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

    Related research

    Keywords: Partisanship Checks and balances Reputation Herding Veto;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Zudenkova, Galina, 2011. "A political agency model of coattail voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1652-1660.
    2. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Political ideology and economic freedom across Canadian provinces," Working Papers CEB 09-054.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. César Martinelli & John Duggan, 2014. "The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results," Working Papers 1403, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    4. Fox, Justin & Van Weelden, Richard, 2012. "Costly transparency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 142-150.
    5. Galina Zudenkova, 2010. "Split-ticket voting: an implicit incentive approach," Economics Working Papers we1011, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
    6. Andreas Bernecker, 2014. "Divided We Reform? Evidence from US Welfare Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 4564, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Fu, Qiang & Li, Ming, 2014. "Reputation-concerned policy makers and institutional status quo bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 15-25.

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