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Why Do Politicians Delegate?

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Guido Tabellini

Opportunistic politicians maximize the probability of reelection and rents from office holding. Can it be optimal from their point of view to delegate policy choices to independent bureaucracies? The answer is yes: politicians will delegate some policy tasks, though in general not those that would be socially optimal to delegate. In particular, politicians tend not to delegate coalition forming redistributive policies and policies that create large rents or effective campaign contributions. Instead they prefer to delegate risky policies to shift risk (and blame) on bureaucracies.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11531.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11531
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