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Bureaucratic behavior in democracy: A case study


  • Pommerehne, Werner W.
  • Frey, Bruno S.


This paper analyzes bureaucracy within the context of the politico-economic framework using the rational choice approach. Bureaucracy interacts with various groups of decision-makers, and its influence depends on institutional differences, in particular representative democracy with or without referendum. Theoretical and empirical analysis for Swiss cities suggests that (1) there is little evidence for any significant influence on policy outcome by bureaucrats qua voters; (2) there is evidence that bureaucracy has a direct influence on the supply side; (3) it is not useful to view bureaucracy to be in an isolated position of a monopolist.

Suggested Citation

  • Pommerehne, Werner W. & Frey, Bruno S., 1977. "Bureaucratic behavior in democracy: A case study," Discussion Papers, Series I 104, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:kondp1:104

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oliver D. Hart, 1985. "Monopolistic Competition in the Spirit of Chamberlin: A General Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 529-546.
    2. Ross, Howard N & Krausz, Joshua, 1986. "Buyers' and Sellers' Prices and Administered Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 369-378, August.
    3. Beth Allen & Martin Hellwig, 1986. "Bertrand-Edgeworth Oligopoly in Large Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(2), pages 175-204.
    4. Bils, Mark, 1987. "The Cyclical Behavior of Marginal Cost and Price," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 838-855, December.
    5. George J. Stigler & James K. Kindahl, 1970. "The Behavior of Industrial Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number stig70-1, January.
    6. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "Market Structure and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 285-338.
    7. Gerard R. Butters, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 465-491.
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    Cited by:

    1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "The size and scope of government:: Comparative politics with rational politicians," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 699-735, April.
    2. Sharon Megdal, 1983. "The determination of local public expenditures and the principal and agent relation: A case study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 71-87, January.
    3. Hayes, Kathy J & Razzolini, Laura & Ross, Leola B, 1998. "Bureaucratic Choice and Nonoptimal Provision of Public Goods: Theory and Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(1-2), pages 1-20, January.
    4. Benoît Le Maux, 2009. "Governmental behavior in representative democracy: a synthesis of the theoretical literature," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(3), pages 447-465, December.
    5. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, "undated". "The size and the scope of government: Comparative politics with rational politicians," Working Papers 137, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Jean-Dominique Lafay & Friedrich Schneider & Werner Pommerehne, 1981. "Les interactions entre économie et politique : synthèse des analyses théoriques et empiriques," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 32(1), pages 110-162.
    7. John Bradbury & W. Crain, 2005. "Legislative district configurations and fiscal policy in American States," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 385-407, December.
    8. Charles B. Blankart & Gerrit B. Koester, 2007. "The Economic Analysis of Constitutions: Fatalism Versus Vitalism," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 4(2), pages 169-183, May.

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