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Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory And Evidence

  • Besley, Timothy J.
  • Coate, Stephen

This paper contrasts direct election with political appointment of regulators. When regulators are appointed, regulatory policy becomes bundled with other policy issues for which the appointing politicians are responsible. Since regulatory issues are not salient for most voters, regulatory policy outcomes reflect the preferences of party élites and special interests. Direct election of regulators strengthens the power of voters by ensuring the saliency of regulatory issues. Using panel data on regulatory outcomes from US states, we find evidence in favour of the idea that elected states are more pro-consumer in their regulatory policies.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2381.

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Date of creation: Feb 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2381
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  1. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  2. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
  3. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Joskow, Paul L. & Noll, Roger G., . "Regulation in Theory and Practice: An Overview," Working Papers 213, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1996. "Industrial policy and politics," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-27.
  6. Peter Navarro, 1982. "Public Utility Commission Regulation: Performance, Determinants, and Energy Policy Impacts," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 119-140.
  7. Joskow, Paul L. & Rose, Nancy L., 1989. "The effects of economic regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 25, pages 1449-1506 Elsevier.
  8. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  9. Walter J. Primeaux, Jr. & Patrick C. Mann, 1986. "Regulator Selection Methods and Electricity Prices," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(1), pages 1-13.
  10. David P. Baron, 1988. "Regulation and Legislative Choice," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 467-477, Autumn.
  11. P. Joskow, 1974. "Inflation and Environmental Concern: Structural Change in the Process of Public Utility Price Regulation," Working papers 128, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  13. Norton, Seth W, 1985. "Regulation and Systematic Risk: The Case of Electric Utilities," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 671-86, October.
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