Politics, transaction costs, and the design of regulatory institutions
Providing a more complete framework for assessing the efficiency of government intervention requires moving away from the idealistic perspective typically found in the normative approach to traditional public economics, contend the authors. Such a move requires viewing the government not as a monolithic entity but as many different government bodies, each with its own constituency and regulatory tools. Not only is the"multitiered"government limited in its ability to commit, but interest groups influence the regulatory process and impose significant transaction costs on government interventions and on their outcome. The authors discuss the nature of those transaction costs and argue that the overall design of the government is the result of their minimization. Among the points they make in their conclusions: 1) Safeguards built into regulatory contracts sometimes reflect and sometimes imply transactions costs which influence, or should influence, the optimal tradeoff between rent and efficient in ways practitioners sometimes ignore. 2) Most of the literature on transaction costs arising from government failures would agree that to be sustainable, regulatory institutions should be independent, autonomous, and accountable. How these criteria are met is determined by the way transaction costs are minimized, which in turn drives the design of the regulatory framework. In practice, for example, if there at commitment problems, short-term institutional contracts between players are more likely to ensure autonomy and independence. This affects the duration of the nomination of the regulators. Short-term contracts may be best, but contracts for regulators typically last four to eight years and are often renewable. The empirical debate about the design of regulators'jobs is a possible source of tension. Practitioners typically recommend choosing regulators based on professional rather than political criteria, but that may not be the best way to minimize regulatory capture. Professional experts are likely to come from the sector they are supposed to regulate and are likely to return to it sooner or later (as typically happens in developing countries). On the other hand, electedregulators are unlikely to be much more independent than professional regulators; they will simply represent different interests. Practitioners and theorists alike emphasize different sources of capture and agree that one way to deal with its risk is to make sure the selection process involves both executive and legislative branches.
|Date of creation:||31 Mar 1999|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
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.:
- Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1992. "Should governments commit?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 345-353, April.
- Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gérard, 1994. "Regional Decentralization and the Soft Budget Constraint: The Case of China," CEPR Discussion Papers 1013, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Dewatripont, Mathias & Tirole, Jean, 1994.
"A Theory of Debt and Equity: Diversity of Securities and Manager-Shareholder Congruence,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1027-54, November.
- Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 1994. "A theory of debt and equity: diversity of securities and manager-shareholder congruence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9593, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Antonio Estache, 1995.
"Decentralizing Infrastructure: Advantages and Limitations,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/44118, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Estache, A., 1995. "Decentralizing Infrastructure. Advantages and Limitations," World Bank - Discussion Papers 290, World Bank.
- Antonio Estache & J. Cremer & Paul Seabright, 1996.
"Decentralizing Public Services: What can we learn from the Theory of the Firm?,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/44016, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Antonio Estache & J. Cremer & Paul Seabright, 2005. "Decentralizing Public Services: What can we learn from the Theory of the Firm?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44017, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Spiller, Pablo T, 1996. "Institutions and Commitment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 421-52.
- David J. Salant, 1995. "Behind the Revolving Door: A New View of Public Utility Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 362-377, Autumn.
- McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-77, Fall.
- Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992.
"Protection for Sale,"
162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
- Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Tirole, J., 1993.
"The Internal Organization of Government,"
93-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Eric Maskin, 1994.
"The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
394, David K. Levine.
- Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
- Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Eric Maskin, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2058, David K. Levine.
- Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K. & Maskin, E., 1989. "The Folk Theorem With Inperfect Public Information," Working papers 523, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Myerson, Roger B, 1979.
"Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
- Roger B. Myerson, 1977. "Incentive Compatability and the Bargaining Problem," Discussion Papers 284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Olsen, Trond E. & Torsvik, Gaute, 1995. "Intertemporal common agency and organizational design: How much decentralization?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1405-1428, August.
- repec:oup:restud:v:63:y:1996:i:2:p:265-86 is not listed on IDEAS
- Martimort, David, 1996. "The multiprincipal nature of government," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 673-685, April.
- Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1991.
"Oversight of Long-Term Investment by Short-Lived Regulators,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 579-600, August.
- Lewis, T.R. & Sappington, D.E.M., 1988. "Oversight Of Long-Term Investment By Short-Lived Regulators," Papers 325, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
- Alfred E. Kahn, 1988. "The Economics of Regulation: Principles and Institutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610523, June.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:101:y:1986:i:2:p:229-64 is not listed on IDEAS
- William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, 1975.
"The Independent Judiciary in an Interest-Group Perspective,"
NBER Working Papers
0110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1975. "The Independent Judiciary in an Interest-Group Perspective," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 875-901, December.
- Baron, David P & Besanko, David, 1992. "Information, Control, and Organizational Structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 237-75, Summer.
- Kofman, F. & Lawarree, J., 1990.
"Collusion in Hierarchical Agency,"
Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington
91-01, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
- Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
- Antonio Estache, 1997. "Designing Regulatory Institutions for Infrastructure-Lessons from Argentina," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11588, The World Bank.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-42, July.
- Nahum D. Melumad & Dilip Mookherjee & Stefan Reichelstein, 1995. "Hierarchical Decentralization of Incentive Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 654-672, Winter.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:98:y:1983:i:3:p:371-400 is not listed on IDEAS
- Itoh Hideshi, 1993. "Coalitions, Incentives, and Risk Sharing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 410-427, August.
- Congleton, Roger D., 1984. "Committees and rent-seeking effort," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 197-209, November.
- McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990.
"Organizational Diseconomies of Scale,"
728, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:4:p:1027-54 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2073. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.