IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/poleco/v51y2018icp57-68.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The effects of bureaucracy on political accountability and electoral selection

Author

Listed:
  • Yazaki, Yukihiro

Abstract

This paper examines how bureaucracy affects political accountability and electoral selection, using a three-tier political agency model consisting of voters, politicians and bureaucrats. In the model’s hierarchy, politicians are constrained by elections while bureaucrats are controlled by budgets. If voters and bureaucrats prefer different types of politicians (i.e. they have a conflict of interests), incumbents pass oversized budgets to prevent bureaucrats from engaging in strategic behaviours that damage incumbents’ reputations. If, instead, voters and bureaucrats prefer the same type of politicians (i.e. they have an alignment of interests), bureaucrats cannot obtain a concession from politicians. In the latter case, however, bureaucrats send voters a credible signal regarding an incumbent’s type, which improves electoral selection. This paper also shows that political appointment systems improve political accountability in the conflict-of-interests case while they weaken electoral selection in the alignment-of-interests case.

Suggested Citation

  • Yazaki, Yukihiro, 2018. "The effects of bureaucracy on political accountability and electoral selection," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 57-68.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:57-68
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2017.03.009
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176268016300908
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2017.03.009?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 169-179, March.
    2. Terry M. Moe, 2006. "Political Control and the Power of the Agent," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-29, April.
    3. Marcus Drometer, 2012. "Bureaucrats and short-term politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 149-163, April.
    4. Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Internal Organization of Government," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
    5. Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2013. "A Political Theory of Populism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 771-805.
    6. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 616-636, June.
    7. Avinash Dixit, 2002. "# Incentives and Organizations in the Public Sector: An Interpretative Review," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 696-727.
    8. Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The Economics of Career Concerns, Part II: Application to Missions and Accountability of Government Agencies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 199-217.
    9. Stephen Morris, 2001. "Political Correctness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 231-265, April.
    10. Terry M. Moe, 2012. "Delegation, Control, and the Study of Public Bureaucracy," Introductory Chapters, in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.),The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Princeton University Press.
    11. Smart, Michael & Sturm, Daniel M., 2013. "Term limits and electoral accountability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 93-102.
    12. Swank, Otto H, 2002. "Budgetary Devices for Curbing Spending Prone Ministers and Bureaucrats," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(3-4), pages 237-257, June.
    13. Hodler, Roland & Loertscher, Simon & Rohner, Dominic, 2010. "Inefficient policies and incumbency advantage," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 761-767, October.
    14. Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The Economics of Career Concerns, Part II: Application to Missions and Accountability of Government Agencies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 199-217.
    15. Canice Prendergast, 2007. "The Motivation and Bias of Bureaucrats," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 180-196, March.
    16. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    17. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
    18. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    19. Vlaicu, Razvan & Whalley, Alexander, 2016. "Hierarchical accountability in government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 85-99.
    20. Ashworth, Scott & Bueno De Mesquita, Ethan, 2014. "Is Voter Competence Good for Voters?: Information, Rationality, and Democratic Performance," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 565-587, August.
    21. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
    22. Patrick L. Warren, 2012. "Allies and Adversaries: Appointees and Policymaking Under Separation of Powers," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 407-446, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Fahad Khalil & Doyoung Kim & Jacques Lawarrée, 2013. "Contracts offered by bureaucrats," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(4), pages 686-711, December.
    2. Ujhelyi, Gergely, 2014. "Civil service reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 15-25.
    3. Makris, Miltiadis, 2009. "Incentives for motivated agents under an administrative constraint," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 428-440, August.
    4. Guido Merzoni & Federico Trombetta, 2016. "The cost of doing the right thing. A model of populism with rent-seeking politicians and the economic crisis," DISEIS - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia internazionale, delle istituzioni e dello sviluppo dis1602, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimento di Economia internazionale, delle istituzioni e dello sviluppo (DISEIS).
    5. Mikel Berdud & Juan M. Cabasés Hita & Jorge Nieto, 2012. "Motivational Capital and Incentives in Health Care Organisations," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 1209, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
    6. Frisell, Lars & Roszbach, Kasper & spagnolo, giancarlo, 2008. "Governing the Governors: A Clinical Study of Central Banks," Working Paper Series 221, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    7. Smart, Michael & Sturm, Daniel M., 2013. "Term limits and electoral accountability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 93-102.
    8. Timothy Besley, 2004. "Joseph Schumpeter Lecture: Paying Politicians: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 193-215, 04/05.
    9. Naseer, Shaheen & Heine, Klaus, 2017. "Bureaucratic Identity and the Shape of Public Policy: A Game Theoretic Analysis," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168144, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Chen, Yvonne Jie & Li, Pei & Lu, Yi, 2018. "Career concerns and multitasking local bureaucrats: Evidence of a target-based performance evaluation system in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 84-101.
    11. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & Marisa Ratto & Emma Tominey, 2017. "Incentives in the Public Sector: Evidence from a Government Agency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(605), pages 117-141, October.
    12. Schinkel, M.P. & Tóth, L. & Tuinstra, J., 2014. "Discretionary Authority and Prioritizing in Government Agencies," CeNDEF Working Papers 14-15, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    13. Binswanger, Johannes & Prüfer, Jens, 2012. "Democracy, populism, and (un)bounded rationality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 358-372.
    14. Caselli, Francesco & Cunningham, Tom & Morelli, Massimo & Moreno de Barreda, Inés, 2012. "Signalling, Incumbency Advantage, and Optimal Reelection Thresholds," CEPR Discussion Papers 8832, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Arnaud Dellis, 2009. "The Salient Issue of Issue Salience," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(2), pages 203-231, April.
    16. Ujhelyi, Gergely, 2017. "A köztisztviselői törvények hatása a kormányzati kiadásokra [The effects of civil-service legislation on government spending]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 885-914.
    17. Aleksandar Vasilev, 2013. "On the cost of rent-seeking by government bureaucrats in a Real-Business-Cycle framework," Working Papers 2013_20, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    18. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2019. "Pandering and pork-barrel politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 79-93.
    19. Aytimur, R. Emre & Bruns, Christian, 2015. "On ignorant voters and busy politicians," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 252, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    20. Mark Schelker, 2009. "Auditor Terms and Term Limits in the Public Sector: Evidence from the US States," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-19, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bureaucracy; Political accountability; Electoral selection; Political appointment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:57-68. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544 .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.