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Sources of Bureaucratic Delay: A Case Study of FERC Dam Relicensing

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  • Lea-Rachel D. Kosnik

Abstract

This paper investigates the sources for regulatory delay in bureaucratic decision making, testing regulatory capture, congressional dominance, and bureaucratic discretion theories of agency behavior. The empirical context concerns relicenses issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for hydroelectric dams, which have taken anywhere from just ten months to over sixteen years to be issued. The reasons for this heterogeneity in regulatory processing times can be expected to be varied and numerous and indeed we find evidence that outside interest groups, the legislature, and bureaucratic discretion are all significant in affecting regulatory processing times. Our most intriguing results concern the effects of environmental interest groups, which, despite their apparent benefit/cost motivation to hasten the relicensing process (independent of relicensing outcomes), overall end up slowing it down. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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  • Lea-Rachel D. Kosnik, 2006. "Sources of Bureaucratic Delay: A Case Study of FERC Dam Relicensing," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 258-288, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:22:y:2006:i:1:p:258-288
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewj004
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    Cited by:

    1. Kosnik, Lea, 2008. "Consolidation and ownership trends of nonfederal hydropower generating assets, 1980-2003," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 715-731, May.
    2. Andrew Young & Russell Sobel, 2013. "Recovery and Reinvestment Act spending at the state level: Keynesian stimulus or distributive politics?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 449-468, June.
    3. Richard J. Cebula & Franklin G. Mixon Jr. & Kamal P. Upadhyaya, 2014. "Public Choice and the EPA, 20 Years Later: An Exploratory Study," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(2), pages 341-352, April.
    4. Lea Kosnik, 2010. "Balancing Environmental Protection and Energy Production in the Federal Hydropower Licensing Process," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(3).
    5. Nicola Ulibarri & Bruce E. Cain & Newsha K. Ajami, 2017. "A Framework for Building Efficient Environmental Permitting Processes," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-17, January.
    6. Kosnik, Lea, 2008. "The potential of water power in the fight against global warming in the US," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 3252-3265, September.
    7. Alberto Batinti, 2016. "NIH biomedical funding: evidence of executive dominance in swing-voter states during presidential elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 239-263, September.

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