Delegation versus Communication in the Organization of Government
AbstractWhen a government creates an agency to gather information relevant to policymaking, it faces two critical organizational questions: whether the agency should be given authority to decide on policy or merely supply advice, and what should the policy goals of the agency be. Existing literature on the first question is unable to address the second, because the question of authority becomes moot if the government can simply replicate its preferences within the agency. In contrast, this paper examines both questions within a model of policymaking under time inconsistency, a setting in which the government has a well-known incentive to create an agency with preferences that differ from its own. Thus, our framework permits a meaningful analysis of delegation versus communication with an endogenously chosen agent. The first main finding of the paper is that the government can do equally well with a strategic choice of agent, from which it solicits advice, instead of delegating authority, as long as the time inconsistency problem is not too severe. The second main finding is that the government may strictly prefer seeking advice to delegating authority if there is prior uncertainty with respect to what is the optimal policy. Classification-JEL Codes: D02, D23, D73, D8, H1
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~06-06-04.
Date of creation: 04 Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/
Postal: Marcia Suss Administrative Officer Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- 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
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
- H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-08-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBA-2006-08-26 (Central Banking)
- NEP-PBE-2006-08-26 (Public Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005.
"Why do Politicians Delegate?,"
784828000000000470, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why Do Politicians Delegate?," NBER Working Papers 11531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why do Politicians Delegate?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2079, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
- Wouter Dessein, 2002.
"Authority and Communication in Organizations,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 811-838.
- Wouter Dessein, 2000. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1747, Econometric Society.
- J�nos Kornai & Eric Maskin & G�rard Roland, 2003.
"Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1095-1136, December.
- J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 11.
- J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 12.
- Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 2004.
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/9647, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Aghion, P. & Dewatripont, M. & Rey, P., 2004. "Transferable Control," Open Access publications from University College London http://discovery.ucl.ac.u, University College London.
- Mathias Dewatripont, 2006. "Transferable control," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9649, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 2004. "Transferable Control," Open Access publications from University of Toulouse 1 Capitole http://neeo.univ-tlse1.fr, University of Toulouse 1 Capitole.
- Rey, Patrick & Dewatripont, Mathias & Aghion, Philippe, 2004. "Transferable Control," Scholarly Articles 4481511, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Vickers, John, 1985. "Delegation and the Theory of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 138-47, Supplemen.
- Hao Li & Wing Suen, 2004. "Delegating Decisions to Experts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S311-S335, February.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997.
"Formal and Real Authority in Organizations,"
4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Aghion, P. & Tirole, J., 1997. "Formal and real authority in organizations," Open Access publications from University College London http://discovery.ucl.ac.u, University College London.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Normal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2001. "Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 67-82, January.
- 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.
- Perino, Grischa, 2010.
"How delegation improves commitment,"
Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 137-139, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marcia Suss).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.