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Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part II: Multiple Policy Tasks

Listed author(s):
  • Alberto Alesina
  • Guido Tabellini

Policies are typically chosen by politicians and bureaucrats. This paper investigates first the normative criteria with which to allocate policy tasks to elected policymakers (politicians) or non-elected bureaucrats. Politicians are preferable if there is uncertainty about social preferences and flexibility is valuable, or if policy complementarities and compensation of losers is important. Bureaucrats are preferable if time inconsistency and short-termism is an issue, or if vested interests have large stakes in the policy outcome. We then compare this normative benchmark with the case in which politicians choose when to delegate and show that the two generally differ.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 321307000000000875.

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Date of creation: 14 Mar 2007
Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:321307000000000875
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  3. Christian Schultz, 2003. "Information, Polarization and Delegation in Democracy," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-16, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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  5. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 2003. "Incomplete Social Contracts," Scholarly Articles 4554123, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Bureaucrats or Politicians?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2009, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  8. Cukierman, Alex & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "The Politics of Ambiguity," Scholarly Articles 4552530, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  10. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 169-179, March.
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  15. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2005. "Choosing Electoral rules: Theory and Evidence from US Cities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2065, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  18. Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The Economics of Career Concerns, Part II: Application to Missions and Accountability of Government Agencies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 199-217.
  19. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, September.
  20. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
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