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Political Control of Administrative Spending: The Case of Local Governments in Norway

  • Jorid Kalseth
  • Jørn Rattsø

Excessive administrative spending in local governments has been a concern in the public debate in Norway. Administration takes resources away from welfare services such as primary education and care for the elderly. Since administrative spending varies considerably between local governments, a study of the political and economic factors involved is warranted. The central hypothesis is that the administrators will have more power relative to the politicians when political control is divided between parties. Estimation of a demand model of administration added political structure shows strong empirical correlations between types of coalition governments and socialist controlled governments and the level of administrative spending. Divided political control strengthens the hands of the agenda setting bureaucrats. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1998.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economic and Politics.

Volume (Year): 10 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 63-83

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:10:y:1998:i:1:p:63-83
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  1. Renaud, Paul S. A. & van Winden, Frans A. A. M., 1991. "Behavior and budgetary autonomy of local governments : A multi-level model applied to the Netherlands," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 547-577, November.
  2. Borge, Lars-Erik & Rattso, Jorn, 1995. "Demographic shift, relative costs and the allocation of local public consumption in Norway," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 705-726, December.
  3. Kalseth, Jorid & Rattso, Jorn, 1995. "Spending and overspending in local government administration: A minimum requirement approach applied to Norway," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 239-251, June.
  4. Edin, Per-Anders & Ohlsson, Henry, 1991. "Political determinants of budget deficits: Coalition effects versus minority effects," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1597-1603, December.
  5. Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 1987. "The economics of the local public sector," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 11, pages 571-645 Elsevier.
  6. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1978. "Political resource allocation, controlled agendas, and the status quo," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 27-43, December.
  7. Schofield, N., 1992. "Political Competition in Multiparty Coalition Governments," Papers 164, Washington St. Louis - School of Business and Political Economy.
  8. 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.
  9. Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard & Munley, Vincent G., 1992. "Economic incentives and political institutions: Spending and voting in school budget referenda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-33, October.
  10. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  11. Oates, Wallace E., 1988. "On the measurement of congestion in the provision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 85-94, July.
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