Bureaucratic Advice and Political Governance
AbstractPoliticians typically do not know what policies are best for achieving their broad objectives, so rely on bureaucrats for advice. Bureaucrats are better informed, so can manipulate outcomes by proposing policies that suit their interests. We capture this conflict of interests using a model of political decision-making that focuses on the interaction between politicians and the bureaucracies that advise them. In the basic model, a representative bureaucrat, knowing the characteristics of a given project, recommends to a representative politician whether to adopt it. If the politician chooses to adopt the project, its characteristics are revealed ex post. On the basis of the revealed outcome, the politician decides whether to discipline the bureaucrat. The bureaucrat anticipates imperfectly the chances of discipline when making an ex ante recommendation. When project characteristics are multi-dimensional, the politician can choose whether to seek advice from one bureaucrat or more than one. We compare outcomes in these centralized and decentralized regimes.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations in its series Working Papers with number 2006-03.
Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-06-03 (All new papers)
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