Economic Theories and the Science of Inter-Branch Relations
One of the fastest-developing areas of political science studies the relationship between the different branches of government. Within that literature, the most popular research questions concern the delegation of powers by one branch to another, the resulting levels of discretion of the delegate, and the control mechanisms available to the delegator. The resulting analyses draw heavily from a handful of economic theories, such as principal-agent, the positive theory of agency, transactions cost economics, and incomplete contracts theory. This article (a) differentiates between those theories, (b) argues that mixing those theories is a self-defeating mistake, and (c) makes a strong and comparative point in favour of re-directing our studies in inter-branch relations towards transactions cost economics. Yet, a truly consistent political-scientific theory of transactions cost economics is still to be developed. The conclusions point to the way forward for the construction of such a theory.
|Date of creation:||21 Feb 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Convento, Via delle Fontanelle, 19, 50014 San Domenico di Fiesole (FI) Italy|
Web page: http://www.eui.eu/RSCAS/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Martin, Elizabeth M, 1997. "An Informational Theory of the Legislative Veto," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 319-43, October.
- Malin, E. & Martimort, D., 2000.
"Transaction Costs and Incentie Theory,"
00-539, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
- Ballmann, Alexander & Epstein, David & O'Halloran, Sharyn, 2002. "Delegation, Comitology, and the Separation of Powers in the European Union," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 551-574, June.
- Jeffrey S. Banks, 1990. "Monopoly Agenda Control and Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 445-464.
- Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990.
"Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm,"
3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Ross, Stephen A, 1973. "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 134-39, May.
- Michael D. Whinston, 2001. "Assessing the Property Rights and Transaction-Cost Theories of Firm Scope," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 184-188, May.
- Williamson, Oliver E, 1990. "Political Institutions: The Neglected Side of the Story--Comment," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(0), pages 263-66.
- Garrett, Geoffrey, 1992. "International cooperation and institutional choice: the European Community's internal market," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 533-560, March.
- Paul Joskow, 1984.
"Vertical Integration and Long Term Contracts: The Case of Coal Burning Electric Generating Plants,"
361, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Joskow, Paul L, 1985. "Vertical Integration and Long-term Contracts: The Case of Coal-burning Electric Generating Plants," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 33-80, Spring.
- Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
- Pollack, Mark A., 1997. "Delegation, agency, and agenda setting in the European Community," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(01), pages 99-134, December.
- K. J. Arrow, 1964. "The Role of Securities in the Optimal Allocation of Risk-bearing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 91-96.
- Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
- Oliver E. Williamson, 1967. "Hierarchical Control and Optimum Firm Size," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 123.
- Snyder, Susan K & Weingast, Barry R, 2000. "The American System of Shared Powers: The President, Congress, and the NLRB," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 269-305, October.
- Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, May.
- Weingast, Barry R & Moran, Mark J, 1983. "Bureaucratic Discretion or Congressional Control? Regulatory Policymaking by the Federal Trade Commission," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 765-800, October.
- McKelvey, Richard D., 1976. "Intransitivities in multidimensional voting models and some implications for agenda control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 472-482, June.
- Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-40, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rsc:rsceui:2007/04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (RSCAS web unit)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.