Seeking information: the role of information providers in the policy decision process
The consequences of many policies are complicated and difficult to foresee. Those who are capable of providing information to policy makers often have a vested interest in the outcomes. This gives them an incentive to distort information to manipulate policy decisions. In this article we argue that reputation or penalties for lying do not always induce information providers to tell the truth. Rather than relying on interested parties, policy makers can create public agencies to collect information about policy consequences. This has the advantage that policy makers can affect the preferences of the information provider. The drawback is that public agencies must exert efforts to collect information. We argue that policy makers create public agencies whose preferences deviates from their own preferences.
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