IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Lea-Rachel D. Kosnik


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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Barro, Jason R & Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Pay, Performance, and Turnover of Bank CEOs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 448-481, October.
    3. Mulherin, J. Harold & Poulsen, Annette B., 1998. "Proxy contests and corporate change: implications for shareholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 279-313, March.
    4. Kaplan, Steven N, 1994. "Top Executives, Turnover, and Firm Performance in Germany," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 142-159, April.
    5. Parrino, Robert, 1997. "CEO turnover and outside succession A cross-sectional analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 165-197, November.
    6. Weisbach, Michael S., 1995. "CEO turnover and the firm's investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 159-188, February.
    7. Agrawal, Anup & Knoeber, Charles R. & Tsoulouhas, Theofanis, 2006. "Are outsiders handicapped in CEO successions?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 619-644, June.
    8. Warner, Jerold B. & Watts, Ross L. & Wruck, Karen H., 1988. "Stock prices and top management changes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 461-492, January.
    9. Kaplan, Steven N, 1994. "Top Executive Rewards and Firm Performance: A Comparison of Japan and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 510-546, June.
    10. Furtado, Eugene P. H. & Rozeff, Michael S., 1987. "The wealth effects of company initiated management changes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 147-160, March.
    11. Hermalin, Benjamin E & Weisbach, Michael S, 1998. "Endogenously Chosen Boards of Directors and Their Monitoring of the CEO," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 96-118, March.
    12. Wallace Davidson & Carol Nemec & Dan Worrell & Jun Lin, 2002. "Industrial Origin of CEOs in Outside Succession: Board Preference and Stockholder Reaction," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 6(4), pages 295-321, December.
    13. Parsons, Donald O, 1972. "Specific Human Capital: An Application to Quit Rates and Layoff Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1120-1143, Nov.-Dec..
    14. Kevin J. Murphy & Jan Zabojnik, 2006. "Managerial Capital and the Market for CEOs," Working Papers 1110, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    15. Fee, C. Edward & Hadlock, Charles J., 2004. "Management turnover across the corporate hierarchy," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 3-38, February.
    16. Weisbach, Michael S., 1988. "Outside directors and CEO turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 431-460, January.
    17. Eric Van den Steen, 2005. "Organizational Beliefs and Managerial Vision," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 256-283, April.
    18. Denis, David J & Denis, Diane K, 1995. " Performance Changes Following Top Management Dismissals," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1057, September.
    19. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    20. Mikkelson, Wayne H. & Partch, M. Megan, 1997. "The decline of takeovers and disciplinary managerial turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 205-228, May.
    21. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    22. Hallock, Kevin F, 1998. "Layoffs, Top Executive Pay, and Firm Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 711-723, September.
    23. Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
    24. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-1260, December.
    25. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Kosnik, Lea, 2008. "Consolidation and ownership trends of nonfederal hydropower generating assets, 1980-2003," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 715-731, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Lea Kosnik, 2010. "Balancing Environmental Protection and Energy Production in the Federal Hydropower Licensing Process," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(3).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:oup:jleorg:v:22:y:2006:i:1:p:258-288. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.