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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2381
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  1. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  2. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  3. 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.
  4. Paul L. Joskow & Roger G. Noll, 1981. "Regulation in Theory and Practice: An Overview," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Public Regulation, pages 1-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
  6. Paul Joskow & Nancy L. Rose, 1987. "The Effects of Economic Regulation," Working papers 447, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  10. 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.
  11. David P. Baron, 1988. "Regulation and Legislative Choice," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 467-477, Autumn.
  12. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
  13. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1996. "Industrial policy and politics," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-27.
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