Hyperbolic Discounting and Politics: The beneficial effects of bureaucrats
This paper introduces hyperbolic discounting into politics. In our model, politicians act according to the preferences of voters in order to be re-elected. As voters' preferences are dynamically inconsistent, the political process results in an allocation of the public budget that is distorted towards consumption ex- penditures. We show that this inefficiency is mitigated when the influence of bureaucrats who favour an excessive supply of public goods is taken into ac- count. Finally, we derive a positive relationship between the optimal level of a bureaucracy's influence and the relevance of long-term investments in a given policy area.
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