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Rent seeking bureaucracies and oversight in a simple growth model

  • Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte

Following recent cross-country empirical work, research on public policy and growth has come to examine the impact of inefficient or corrupt bureaucracies. Most of this work has emphasized the interactions of bureaucracies with private markets. By contrast, this paper focuses on the relationship between rent-seeking bureaucracies and their political authority. We show that when oversight is relatively costly, as in many developing economies, the political authority exercises little monitoring of its agencies which reduces the effectiveness of productive government spending. Moreover, when the technology used to provide public services is poor, bureaus better succeed in requesting overly large budgets before triggering any monitoring. Both of these characteristics contribute to reducing the growth rate of already poor economies.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 98-03.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:98-03
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  1. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sergio T. Rebelo, 1990. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 3325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ayal, Eliezer B. & Karras, Georgios, 1996. "Bureaucracy, investment, and growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 233-239, May.
  4. Scully, Gerald W, 1988. "The Institutional Framework and Economic Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 652-62, June.
  5. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1997. "Productive government expenditures and long-run growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 183-204, January.
  6. William Easterly & Michael Kremer & Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1993. "Good Policy or Good Luck? Country Growth Performance and Temporary Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  10. Gerhard Glomm & B. Ravikumar, 1998. "Flat-Rate Taxes, Government Spending on Education, and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 306-325, January.
  11. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1994. "Public investment in infrastructure in a simple growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1173-1187, November.
  12. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1994. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," CEPR Discussion Papers 885, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Williamson, Stephen D, 1987. "Costly Monitoring, Loan Contracts, and Equilibrium Credit Rationing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 135-45, February.
  14. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-38, October.
  15. Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1996. "Fiscal Policy, Adjustment Costs, and Endogenous Growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(3), pages 361-81, July.
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