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A Critical Comment on Niskanen's Model

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  • José Casas-Pardo
  • Miguel Puchades-Navarro

Abstract

Niskanen's model has been largely criticized, but it still remains a standard explanation of bureaucracy's behaviour. In this paper we criticize the monopoly power that Niskanen assigns to the bureaucracy. A bilateral monopoly between bureaucrats and politicians might be a much more adequate framework for explaining the bureaucracy's behaviour than Niskanen's original formulation of a perfect discriminating bureaucracy. In a bilateral monopoly model, in no case the type of relationship which holds between the sponsor and the bureau leads to an oversupply of output. Should an excess output occur, it would be a consequence of the political decision-making mechanisms. This result stands in sharp contrast to the Niskanen's model, but, at the same time, it is coherent with the fact that, when the sponsor introduces control and monitoring mechanisms, the sponsor does not pretend to decrease the output but rather to supervise and to reduce the costs of producing the output. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Suggested Citation

  • José Casas-Pardo & Miguel Puchades-Navarro, 2001. "A Critical Comment on Niskanen's Model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 147-167, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:107:y:2001:i:1:p:147-167
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1010370708105
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Miltos Makris, 2003. "Administrative Bureaus with Standard Operating Procedures," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/062, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    2. repec:kap:porgrv:v:18:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11115-016-0358-y is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nelson Marconi & Paulo Arvate & João Moura Neto & Paulo Palombo, 2009. "Vertical transfers and the appropriation of resources by the bureaucracy: the case of Brazilian state governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 65-85, October.
    4. Vasilev, Aleksandar, 2013. "On the cost of rent-seeking by government bureaucrats in a Real-Business-Cycle framework," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-84, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    5. Kiander, Jaakko & Venetoklis, Takis, 2004. "Spending Preferences of Public Sector Officials. Survey Evidence from the Finnish Central Government," Research Reports 114, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Miltiadis Makris, 2006. "Political authority, expertise and government bureaucracies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 267-284, June.
    7. Vasilev, Aleksandar, 2013. "Essays on Real Business Cycle Modeling and the Public Sector," EconStor Theses, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 130522, June.

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