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Bureaucratic Advice and Political Governance

Author

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  • Robin Boadway

    (Department of Economics, Queen’s University)

  • Motohiro Sato

    () (Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University)

Abstract

Politicians typically do not know what policies are best for achieving their broad objectives, so rely on bureaucrats for advice. Bureaucrats are better informed, so can manipulate outcomes by proposing policies that suit their interests. We capture this conflict of interests using a model of political decision-making that focuses on the interaction between politicians and the bureaucracies that advise them. In the basic model, a representative bureaucrat, knowing the characteristics of a given project, recommends to a representative politician whether to adopt it. If the politician chooses to adopt the project, its characteristics are revealed ex post. On the basis of the revealed outcome, the politician decides whether to discipline the bureaucrat. The bureaucrat anticipates imperfectly the chances of discipline when making an ex ante recommendation. When project characteristics are multi-dimensional, the politician can choose whether to seek advice from one bureaucrat or more than one. We compare outcomes in these centralized and decentralized regimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin Boadway & Motohiro Sato, 2006. "Bureaucratic Advice and Political Governance," Working Papers 2006-03, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifr:wpaper:2006-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hikaru Ogawa & David E. Wildasin, 2009. "Think Locally, Act Locally: Spillovers, Spillbacks, and Efficient Decentralized Policymaking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1206-1217, September.
    2. Wildasin, David E., 2007. "Pre–Emption: Federal Statutory Intervention in State Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(3), pages 649-662, September.
    3. Christos Kotsogiannis & Robert Schwager, 2006. "Fiscal Equalization and Yardstick Competition," Working Papers 2006-15, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    4. Robin Boadway & Jean-Francois Tremblay, 2005. "A Theory of Vertical Fiscal Imbalance," Working Papers 2006-04, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    5. Marina Dodlova, 2013. "Political Accountability and Real Authority of Government Bureaucracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4443, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption

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