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Civil servants’ education and the representativeness of the bureaucracy in environmental policy-making



We model and test the representativeness of environmental policy-making, as implied by cost-benefit analysis (CBA) results, in governmental agencies assuming that individual civil servants maximize their personal utility. Education may also influence civil servants’ behavior. The biologists in our sample have the highest valuation of environmental quality. We suspect that their training does not teach them about societal welfare maximization and that they consequently do not adjust their policy recommendation to CBA results, while the economists, who learn about welfare economics, do. The empirical results indicate that the economists adjust their private valuation of the environment by a factor giving a sufficient weight to the CBA results to make their average choice a cost-efficient one. Even the economists in our sample chose on average a policy that is costlier than the cost-efficient one yet clearly less expensive than the policy chosen by the biologists and social scientists.

Suggested Citation

  • Jussila Hammes, Johanna, 2013. "Civil servants’ education and the representativeness of the bureaucracy in environmental policy-making," Working papers in Transport Economics 2013:30, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ctswps:2013_030

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    2. Fredrik Carlsson & Mitesh Kataria & Elina Lampi, 2011. "Do EPA Administrators Recommend Environmental Policies That Citizens Want?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(1), pages 60-74.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:69:y:1975:i:02:p:526-542_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:96:y:2002:i:03:p:553-564_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    Biologists; Bureaucracy; Civil servants; Education; Economists; Environmental policy; Political Economics; Representative bureaucracy; Surveys; Use of cost-benefit analysis; Weighted welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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