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Delegation and discretion

Author

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  • Armstrong, Mark

Abstract

There are many situations in which a principal delegates decisions to a better-informed agent but does not choose to give full discretion. This paper discusses one reason why this might be desirable: the agent may have tastes that differ from those of the principal. Limiting the agent's discretion has the advantage that an untrustworthy agent is constrained from following policies that are disliked by the principal, but the disadvantage that trustworthy agents are then not permitted to carry out some desirable policies. It is shown that a greater risk of the agent being untrustworthy will lead to her being offered less discretion over policy. Applications of the model involve judicial sentencing policy, monetary policy, and pricing policy in a regulated industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Armstrong, Mark, 1995. "Delegation and discretion," MPRA Paper 17069, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17069
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    Cited by:

    1. Palumbo, Giuliana & Iossa, Elisabetta, 2002. "Decision rules and information provision: monitoring versus manipulation," FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 452, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    2. Axel Gautier & Dimitri Paolini, 2007. "Delegation and Information Revelation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(4), pages 574-597, December.
    3. Currie, David & Levine, Paul L & Rickman, Neil, 1999. "Delegation and the Ratchet Effect: Should Regulators Be Pro-Industry?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2274, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Martimort, David & Semenov, Aggey, 2008. "The informational effects of competition and collusion in legislative politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1541-1563, July.
    5. Kirsten Foss & Nicolai J. Foss & Xose H. Vazquez-Vicente, 2003. ""Tying the Manager's Hands": How Firms can make Credible Commitments that make Opportunistic Managerial Intervention Less Likely," DRUID Working Papers 03-10, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    6. Axel GAUTIER & Dimitri PAOLINI, 2001. "Delegation and Organizational Design," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001026, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    7. Kirsten Foss & Nicolai J. Foss, "undated". "Authority and Discretion: Tensions, Credible Delegation, and Implications for New Organizational Forms," IVS/CBS Working Papers 2002-08, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy, Copenhagen Business School.
    8. Semenov, Aggey, 2012. "Delegation to potentially uninformed agent," MPRA Paper 42080, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. John Vickers & Mark Armstrong, 2007. "A Model of Delegated Project Choice With Application to Merger Policy," Economics Series Working Papers 347, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    10. Pinghan Liang, 2010. "Transfer of Authority within Hierarchy," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000139, David K. Levine.
    11. Andreas Roider, 2006. "Delegation of Authority as an Optimal (In)Complete Contract," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(3), pages 391-411, September.
    12. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:54-71 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Marino, Anthony M., 2006. "Delegation versus an approval process and the demand for talent," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 487-503, May.
    14. Murali Agastya & Parimal Kanti Bag & Indranil Chakraborty, 2014. "Communication and authority with a partially informed expert," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(1), pages 176-197, March.
    15. Martimort, David & Semenov, Aggey, 2006. "Continuity in mechanism design without transfers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 182-189, November.
    16. Andreas Roider, 2006. "Delegation of Authority as an Optimal (In)Complete Contract," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(3), pages 391-411, September.
    17. Mühlbauer, Stefan, 2016. "Foundation owned firms - a delegation approach," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145719, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Principal-Agent Problem; Delegation; Discretion; Mandatory Sentences; Monetary Policy; Regulation.;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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