Bureaucratic Capacity, Delegation, and Political Reform

TitleBureaucratic Capacity, Delegation, and Political Reform
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsHuber JD, McCarty N
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Volume98
Issue3
Pagination - 494
Date PublishedAugust 2004
ISBN Number0003-0554, 0003-0554
Keywords9261: public policy/administration; public policy, article, Bureaucracy, Institutions, Legislation, Policy making, Politicians, Public Officials, Reform
AbstractWe analyze a model of delegation & policymaking in polities where bureaucratic capacity is low. Our analysis suggests that low bureaucratic capacity diminishes incentives for bureaucrats to comply with legislation, making it more difficult for politicians to induce bureaucrats to take actions that politicians desire. Consequently, when bureaucratic capacity is low, standard principles in the theoretical literature on delegation no longer hold. We also use the model to examine the issue of political reform in polities with low bureaucratic capacity. The model indicates that politicians in such polities will be trapped in a situation whereby they have little incentive to undertake reforms of either the bureaucracy or other institutions (such as courts) that are crucial for successful policy making. 5 Figures, 1 Appendix, 12 References. Adapted from the source document.
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