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Why do Politicians Delegate?

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  • Alberto Alesina
  • Guido Tabellini

Abstract

Opportunistic politicians maximize the probability of reelection and rents from office holding. Can it be optimal from their point of view to delegate policy choices to independent bureaucracies? The answer is yes: politicians will delegate some policy tasks, though in general not those that would be socially optimal to delegate. In particular, politicians tend not to delegate coalition forming redistributive policies and policies that create large rents or effective campaign contributions. Instead they prefer to delegate risky policies to shift risk (and blame) on bureaucracies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 784828000000000470.

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Date of creation: 06 Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:784828000000000470

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References

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  1. Christian Schultz, 2003. "Information, Polarization and Delegation in Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1104, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Bureaucrats or Politicians?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2009, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 169-82, January.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1996. "Budget Deficits and Budget Institutions," NBER Working Papers 5556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory And Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Dewatripont, Mathias & Jewitt, Ian & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "The Economics of Career Concerns, Part II: Application to Missions and Accountability of Government Agencies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 199-217, January.
  9. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  10. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  11. Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The economics of career concerns: part 1 :comparing information structures," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9617, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Cukierman, Alex & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "The Politics of Ambiguity," Scholarly Articles 4552530, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2003. "Competition and incentives with motivated agents," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2202, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-77, Fall.
  15. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521816755 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, December.
  17. Allan Drazen & Marcela Eslava, 2005. "Electoral Manipulation via Expenditure Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Donato Masciandaro & Maria Nieto & Henriette Prast, 2007. "Who pays for banking supervision? Principles and practices," DNB Working Papers 141, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  2. Mayes, David G & Nieto, Maria J & Wall , Larry, 2007. "Multiple safety net regulators and agency problems in the EU: is Prompt Corrective Action a partial solution?," Research Discussion Papers 7/2007, Bank of Finland.
  3. Yuan-Hong Ho & Chiung-Ju Huang, 2013. "Presidential Election, Checks and Balances, and Allocation of Public Expenditures in Taiwan," Journal of Economics and Management, College of Business, Feng Chia University, Taiwan, vol. 9(1), pages 31-53, January.
  4. Ludema, Rodney D. & Olofsgard, Anders, 2008. "Delegation versus communication in the organization of government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 213-235, February.
  5. David G. Mayes & María J. Nieto & Larry Wall, 2008. "Multiple safety net regulators and agency problems in the EU: Is Prompt Corrective Action partly the solution?," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0819, Banco de Espa�a.
  6. Guillermo Ordonez, 2008. "Essays on Learning and Macroeconomics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002250, David K. Levine.
  7. Guillermo Ordonez, 2005. "Don't Ask Why Things Went Wrong: Nested Reputation and Scapegoating Inefficiency," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000988, David K. Levine.

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