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A Theory of Policy Advice

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  • Swank, Otto H
  • Letterie, Wilko
  • van Dalen, Hendrik P

Abstract

This article analyzes a model of the policy decision process in ministerial governments. A spending minister and a finance minister are involved in making a decision concerning a public project. The two ministers have partially conflicting preferences. Policy decisions are made in two stages. In the first stage the spending minister consults a technical expert to obtain information about the technical consequences of the project. If the technical consequences are favourable, in the second stage the finance minister consults a financial expert to obtain information about the financial consequences. The finance minister can veto a proposal for undertaking the project. This article illustrates the consequences of specialization for information transmission. A drawback of specialization is that projects are evaluated on the basis of their individual consequences rather than on the basis of their total consequences. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Swank, Otto H & Letterie, Wilko & van Dalen, Hendrik P, 1999. "A Theory of Policy Advice," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 602-614, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:15:y:1999:i:3:p:602-14
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    Cited by:

    1. Roland Hodler & Simon Loertscher & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Biased Experts, Costly Lies, and Binary Decisions," Working Papers 10.01, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    2. Swank, Otto H., 2000. "Policy advice, secrecy, and reputational concerns," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 257-271, June.
    3. Swank Otto H., 2000. "Seeking information: the role of information providers in the policy decision process," Public Economics 0004004, EconWPA.
    4. Robert A.J. Dur & Otto H. Swank, 2001. "Producing and Manipulating Information: Private Information Providers versus Public Information Providers," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-052/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. Hillman, Arye L. & Swank, Otto, 2000. "Why political culture should be in the lexicon of economics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-4, March.

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