IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Government transparency and policymaking

  • Justin Fox

    ()

Registered author(s):

    We argue that making lawmakers more accountable to the public by making it easier to identify their policy choices can have negative consequences. Specifically, we analyze a model of political agency with a single lawmaker and a representative voter. In our model, the lawmaker has better information than the voter about the appropriateness of alternative policy courses. In addition, the voter is uncertain about the incumbent's policy preferences – specifically, the voter is worried the incumbent is an ideologue. Our model suggests that when lawmakers expect their policy choices to be widely publicized, for those lawmakers sufficiently concerned about reelection, the desire to select policies that lead the public to believe they are unbiased will trump the incentive to select those policies that are best for their constituents. Hence, lawmakers who would do the right thing behind close doors may no longer do so when policy is determined in the open. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-006-9103-3
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

    Volume (Year): 131 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages: 23-44

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:131:y:2007:i:1:p:23-44
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Michael Smart & Daniel M. Sturm, 2006. "Term Limits and Electoral Accountability," CEP Discussion Papers dp0770, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Economics Working Papers 0020, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
    4. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
    5. Sumon Majumdar & Sharun W. Mukand, 2004. "Policy Gambles," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0407, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    6. Andrea Prat, 2002. "The Wrong Kind of Transparency," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 439, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    7. Bryan Caplan, 2002. "Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 433-458, April.
    8. Caplan, Bryan, 2001. " Rational Irrationality and the Microfoundations of Political Failure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 107(3-4), pages 311-31, June.
    9. James M. Snyder, 2005. "Why Roll Calls? A Model of Position-Taking in Legislative Voting and Elections," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 153-178, April.
    10. Bryan Caplan, 2000. "Rational Irrationality: A Framework for the Neoclassical-Behavioral Debate," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 191-211, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:131:y:2007:i:1:p:23-44. 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: (Guenther Eichhorn)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.