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Cooperative Regulatory Enforcement and the Politics of Administrative Effectiveness


  • Scholz, John T.


Even when political interests control bureaucratic outputs, the control of policy outcomes is complicated by trade-offs between controllable versus effective implementation strategies. I use a nested game framework to explain why a cooperative strategy can increase enforcement effectiveness in the narrow administrative game and why principal-agent control problems and collective action problems associated with the strategy lead policy beneficiaries to oppose the effective strategy in the broader political games. Analyses of state-level Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforcement provide evidence that cooperation does enhance the impact of enforcement in reducing workplace injury rates but that policy beneficiaries oppose and sabotage cooperation. The interactions between administrative effectiveness and interest group politics in this and other implementation situations require that both be analyzed simultaneously, and the nested game framework can provide a systematic approach to such analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • Scholz, John T., 1991. "Cooperative Regulatory Enforcement and the Politics of Administrative Effectiveness," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 85(1), pages 115-136, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:85:y:1991:i:01:p:115-136_17

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    Cited by:

    1. Germani, Anna Rita & Morone, Andrea & Morone, Piergiuseppe & Scaramozzino, Pasquale, 2013. "Discretionary enforcement and strategic interactions between firms, regulatory agency and justice department: a theoretical and empirical investigation," MPRA Paper 51369, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Anna Rita Germani & Pasquale Scaramozzino & Andrea Morone & Piergiuseppe Morone, 2017. "Discretionary enforcement and strategic interactions between enforcement agencies and firms: a theoretical and laboratory investigation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 255-284, December.
    3. Kathryn Harrison, 1995. "Is cooperation the answer? Canadian environmental enforcement in comparative context," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 221-244.
    4. Miller, Steven R. & Abdulkadri, Abdullahi O. & Batie, Sandra S. & Joshi, Satish V., 2012. "Motivation, Barriers and Incentives for the Participation of Livestock Operations in MAEAP," Staff Paper Series 125071, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    5. Peter J. May, 1993. "Mandate design and implementation: Enhancing implementation efforts and shaping regulatory styles," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 634-663.
    6. Keunyoung Lee & Kwangho Jung, 2018. "Exploring institutional reform of Korean civil service pension: advocacy coalition framework, policy knowledge and social innovation," Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-23, April.
    7. Riener, Gerhard & Wiederhold, Simon, 2016. "Team building and hidden costs of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 1-18.
    8. Simon Wiederhold, 2012. "The Role of Public Procurement in Innovation: Theory and Empirical Evidence," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 43.
    9. Seong-Gin Moon & Kilkon Ko, 2013. "Act in Good Faith? The Effectiveness of U.S. Voluntary Environmental Programs," International Review of Public Administration, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 163-184, December.
    10. Zach Raff & Dietrich Earnhart, 2018. "Effect Of Cooperative Enforcement Strategies On Wastewater Management," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(2), pages 1357-1379, April.
    11. Liu, Quanlong & Li, Xinchun & Qiao, Wanguan & Meng, Xianfei & Li, Xiangong & Shi, Tian, 2017. "Analysis of embedded non-safety regulation games in China's two types of coal mines through safety performance disparity, 1980–2014," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 265-271.
    12. Eric Helland, 1998. "The Enforcement Of Pollution Control Laws: Inspections, Violations, And Self-Reporting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 141-153, February.
    13. Juergen Jung & Michael Makowsky, 2014. "The determinants of federal and state enforcement of workplace safety regulations: OSHA inspections 1990–2010," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 1-33, February.
    14. Suurmond, Guido, 2007. "The effects of the enforcement strategy," MPRA Paper 21142, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. maurice moffett & alok k. bohara & kishore gawande, 2005. "Governance and Performance: Theory-Based Evidence from US Coast Guard Inspections," Public Economics 0505002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Heyes, Anthony & Rickman, Neil, 1999. "Regulatory dealing - revisiting the Harrington paradox," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 361-378, June.
    17. Olson, Mary K, 1999. "Agency Rulemaking, Political Influences, Regulation, and Industry Compliance," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 573-601, October.
    18. Sarah L. Stafford, 2011. "Do Environmental Audits Improve Long-term Compliance? Evidence from Manufacturing Facilities in Michigan," Working Papers 117, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.

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