Bureaucratic Delegation in Comparative Perspective: Constitutional Structure and Reform Timing
The last few years have witnessed a growing discourse in favor of creating a wide range of autonomous public authorities to administer policy. Building on recent scholarship on comparative institutional design, this article examines how constitutional structure affects the timing of such a decision. I hypothesize that because such formalization strategies are costly, democratic governments that are relatively certain of when they will leave office will time bureaucratic reform to occur late in their terms, while governments that are less sure of their longevity will be more likely to reform early on in their terms. The article provides some illustrative evidence of this hypothesis based on a comparative case study of central bank reform in Venezuela and Poland. These findings are further corroborated by data from 28 recent cases of central bank reform.
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