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The Economics of Career Concerns, Part II: Application to Missions and Accountability of Government Agencies

  • Dewatripont, Mathias
  • Jewitt, Ian
  • Tirole, Jean

This paper uses a simple multitask career concern model in order to analyze the incentives of government agency officials. Incentives are impaired by the agency pursuing multiple missions. A lack of focus is even more problematic in the case of fuzzy missions, that is when outsiders are uncertain about the exact nature of the missions actually pursued by the agency. Consequently, agencies pursuing multiple missions receive less autonomy. The paper further shows that professionalization creates a sense of mission for the agency and that the specialization of officials raises their incentives. Last, the paper compares its predictions with the stylized facts on government bureaucracies. Copyright 1999 by The Review of Economic Studies Limited.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 66 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 199-217

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Handle: RePEc:bla:restud:v:66:y:1999:i:1:p:199-217
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