Economic Theories and the Science of Inter-Branch Relations
AbstractOne of the fastest-developing areas of political science studies the relationship between the different branches of government. Within that literature, the most popular research questions concern the delegation of powers by one branch to another, the resulting levels of discretion of the delegate, and the control mechanisms available to the delegator. The resulting analyses draw heavily from a handful of economic theories, such as principal-agent, the positive theory of agency, transactions cost economics, and incomplete contracts theory. This article (a) differentiates between those theories, (b) argues that mixing those theories is a self-defeating mistake, and (c) makes a strong and comparative point in favour of re-directing our studies in inter-branch relations towards transactions cost economics. Yet, a truly consistent political-scientific theory of transactions cost economics is still to be developed. The conclusions point to the way forward for the construction of such a theory.
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 European University Institute in its series RSCAS Working Papers with number 2007/04.
Date of creation: 21 Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Branches of government; Policy-making; Principal-Agent; Transaction cost 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.:
- Joskow, Paul L, 1985.
"Vertical Integration and Long-term Contracts: The Case of Coal-burning Electric Generating Plants,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 33-80, Spring.
- Paul Joskow, 1984. "Vertical Integration and Long Term Contracts: The Case of Coal Burning Electric Generating Plants," Working papers 361, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
- Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990.
"Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Williamson, Oliver E, 1990. "Political Institutions: The Neglected Side of the Story--Comment," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(0), pages 263-66.
- Michael D. Whinston, 2001. "Assessing the Property Rights and Transaction-Cost Theories of Firm Scope," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 184-188, May.
- Martin, Elizabeth M, 1997. "An Informational Theory of the Legislative Veto," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 319-43, October.
- Ballmann, Alexander & Epstein, David & O'Halloran, Sharyn, 2002. "Delegation, Comitology, and the Separation of Powers in the European Union," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 551-574, June.
- McKelvey, Richard D., 1976. "Intransitivities in multidimensional voting models and some implications for agenda control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 472-482, June.
- Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
- Malin, E. & Martimort, D., 2000.
"Transaction Costs and Incentie Theory,"
00-539, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
- Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817.
- Oliver E. Williamson, 1967. "Hierarchical Control and Optimum Firm Size," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 123.
- Banks, Jeffrey S, 1990. "Monopoly Agenda Control and Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 445-64, May.
- Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-40, September.
- Garrett, Geoffrey, 1992. "International cooperation and institutional choice: the European Community's internal market," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 533-560, March.
- Weingast, Barry R & Moran, Mark J, 1983. "Bureaucratic Discretion or Congressional Control? Regulatory Policymaking by the Federal Trade Commission," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 765-800, October.
- Snyder, Susan K & Weingast, Barry R, 2000. "The American System of Shared Powers: The President, Congress, and the NLRB," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 269-305, October.
- Ross, Stephen A, 1973. "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 134-39, May.
- Pollack, Mark A., 1997. "Delegation, agency, and agenda setting in the European Community," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(01), pages 99-134, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (RSCAS web unit).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.