How Delegation Improves Commitment
AbstractWe often use delegation as a commitment device if a government faces problems of timeinconsistency. McCallum (1995, AER P&P) challenged this practice, claiming that delegation merely relocates the commitment problem but does not solve it. In a model where delegation and specific policies are subject to the same commitment technology it is shown that McCallum’s conjecture holds if optimal ex-ante policies are fixed. However, with a flexibility-credibility trade-off delegation is both desirable and improves credibility. While delegation does not increase commitment per se it makes it more attractive and increases investments in credibility. Delegation can therefore serve as a valid commitment device.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0466.
Length: 10 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision: Jun 2008
Time-inconsistency; commitment; delegation;
Other versions of this item:
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
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