Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Schirle, Tammy / de Vries, Frans / Zulehner, Christine

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.252
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.755

CiteScore 2016: 0.48

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.330
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.526

Online
ISSN
1935-1682
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 15, Issue 3

Issues

Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

Insulation or Patronage: Political Institutions and Bureaucratic Efficiency

Hannes Mueller
  • Corresponding author
  • Institut d’Analisi Economica, CSIC, MOVE and Barcelona GSE, Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-04-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2013-0084

Abstract

This article presents a model of political insulation of bureaucracies. Political influence can harm competence because it lowers the incentives of bureaucrats to invest in competence. Politicians then want to adopt institutions that insulate the bureaucracy because this establishes a commitment to reward competence. Political leaders insulate the bureaucracy if public good provision is important compared to rent extraction or when political competition forces the political elite to internalize the welfare loss caused by patronage. Through this channel political reforms can lead to reforms of the bureaucracy. The theoretical findings are illustrated with existing empirical studies and data on central bank independence.

Keywords: bureaucracy; political institutions; insulation; patronage; competence; rent extraction

References

  • Acemoglu, D., D. Ticchi, and A. Vindigni. 2010. “Emergence and Persistence of Inefficient States.” Journal of the European Economic Association 9: 177–369.Google Scholar

  • Acemoglu, D. 2005. Constitutions, Politics and Economics: A Review Essay on Persson and Tabellini’s “The Economic Effect of Constitutions.” NBER Working Paper, 11235.

  • Aghion, P., and J. Tirole. 1997. “Formal and Real Authority in Organizations.” Journal of Political Economy 105: 1–29.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Alesina, A., R. Baqir, and W. Easterly. 1999. “Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 114: 1243–84.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Alesina, A., and G. Tabellini. 2007. “Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task.” American Economic Review 97: 169–79.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bai, Y., and R. Jiaz. 2014. Mobility and Revolution: The Impact of the Abolition of China’s Civil Service Exam System. Mimeo.

  • Banerjee, A. 1997. “A Theory of Misgovernance.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 112: 1289–332.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bekke, H., and Van Der Meer, F., eds. 2000. Civil Service Systems in Western Europe. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar

  • Bernhard, W. 1998. “A Political Explanation of Variations in Central Bank Independence.” American Political Science Review 92: 311–327.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Besley, T., and M. Ghatak. 2005. “Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents.” American Economic Review 95: 616–36.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Besley, T., and M. Kudamatsu. 2008. “Making Autocracy Work.” In Institutions and Economic Performance, edited by E. Helpman, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

  • Besley, T., and T. Persson. 2009. “The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation and Politics.” American Economic Review 99: 1218–44.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bubb, R., and P. Warren. 2014. “Optimal Agency Bias and Regulatory Review.” The Journal of Legal Studies 43: 95–135.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Clark, K. 1959. “statesmen in Disguise’: Reflexions on the History of the Neutrality of the Civil Service.” Historical Journal 2: 19–39.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Crowe, C., and E. Meade. 2008. “Central Bank Independence and Transparency: Evolution and Effectiveness.” IMF Working Paper WP/08/119.

  • Cukierman, A., S. Webb, and B. Neyapti. 1992. “Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes.” The World Bank Economic Review 6: 353–423.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Debs, A. 2010. “Economic Theories of Dictatorship.” Economics of Peace and Security Journal 5: 11–17.Google Scholar

  • De Figueiredo, R. 2002. “Electoral Competition, Political Uncertainty, and Policy Insulation.” American Political Science Review 96: 321–33.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • De Haan, J., and G. Van’t Hag. 1995. “Variation in Central Bank Independence across Countries: Some Provisional Empirical Evidence.” Public Choice 85: 335–51.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dewatripont, M., I. Jewitt, and J. Tirole. 1999. “The Economics of Career Concerns, Part I: Comparing Information Structures.” Review of Economic Studies 66: 183–198.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dreher, A., J.-E. Sturm, and J. de Haan. 2010. “When is a Central Bank Governor Replaced? Evidence Based on a New Data Set.” Journal of Macroeconomics 32: 766–781.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Eijffinger, S., and J. De Hann. 1996. “The Political Economy of Central Bank Independence.” Princeton Studies in International Economics 19.Google Scholar

  • Elman, B. 1991. “Political, Social, and Cultural Reproduction via Civil Service Examinations in Late Imperial China.” Journal of Asian Studies 50: 7–28.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Francois, P. 2000. “‘Public Service Motivation’ as an Argument for Government Provision.” Journal of Public Economics 78: 275–99.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Gailmard, S., and J. Patty. 2007. “Slackers and Zealots: Civil Service, Policy Discretion, and Bureaucratic Expertise.” American Journal of Political Science 51: 873–889.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Gailmar, S., and J. Patty. 2012. “Formal Models of Bureaucracy.” Annual Review of Political Science 15: 353–377.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Geddes, B. 1994. Politician’s Dilemma: Building State Capacity in Latin America. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

  • Glazer, A. 1989. “Politics and the Choice of Durability.” American Economic Review 79: 1207–13.Google Scholar

  • Greaves, H. 1947. The Civil Service in the Changing State: A Survey of Civil Service Reform and the Implications of a Planned Economy on Public Administration in England. London: Harrap.Google Scholar

  • Guriev, S., and K. Sonin. 2009. “Dictators and Oligarchs: A Dynamic Theory of Contested Property Rights.” Journal of Public Economics 93: 1–13.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Haas, S. 2004. Die Kultur der Verwaltung. Frankfurt: Campus.Google Scholar

  • Hanssen, A. 2004. “Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence?” American Economic Review 94: 712–29.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Iyer, L., and A. Mani. 2012. “Traveling Agents: Political Change and Bureaucratic Turnover in India.” Review of Economics and Statistics 94: 723–39.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Justman, M., and M. Gradstein. 1999. “The Industrial Revolution, Political Transition, and the Subsequent Decline in Inequality in 19th-Century Britain.” Explorations in Economic History 36: 109–27.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Keefer, P., and D. Stasavage. 2003. “The Limits of Delegation: Veto Players, Central Bank Independence, and the Credibility of Monetary Policy.” American Political Science Review 97: 407–23.Google Scholar

  • Konrad, K., and G. Torsvik. 1997. “Dynamic Incentives and Term Limits in Bureaucracy Regulation.” European Journal of Political Economy 13: 261–79.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lavertu, S. 2013. “Issue-Specific Political Uncertainty and Policy Insulation in Federal Agencies.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 29: 145–77.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lazear, E., and S. Rosen. 1981. “Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts.” Journal of Political Economy 89: 841–64.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lewis, D. 2007. “Testing Pendleton’s Premise: Do Political Appointees Make Worse Bureaucrats?” Journal of Politics 69: 1073–88.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kaufmann, D., A. Kraay, and M. Mastruzzi. 2010. “The Worldwide Governance Indicators: Methodology and Analytical Issues.” Policy Research Working Paper, 5430.

  • Maskin, E., and J. Tirole. 2004. “The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government.” American Economic Review 94: 1034–54.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Moe, T. 1989. “The Politics of Bureaucratic Structure.” In Can the Government Govern, edited by J. E. Chubb and P. E. Peterson, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar

  • Niskanen, W. 1975. “Bureaucrats and Politicians.” Journal of Law and Economics 18: 617–43.Google Scholar

  • Northcote, S., and C. Trevelyan. 1954 (reprint). Northcote-Trevelyan Report. Public Administration, 32, 1–16.Crossref

  • Persson, T., and G. Tabellini. 2009. “Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change.” American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 1: 88–126.Google Scholar

  • Persson, T., and G. Tabellini. 2000. Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Prendergast, C. 2007. “The Motivation and Bias of Bureaucrats.” American Economic Review 97: 180–196.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Rauch, J., and P. Evans. 2000. “Bureaucratic Structure and Bureaucratic Performance in Less Developed Countries.” Journal of Public Economics 75: 49–71.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Robinson, J., R. Torvik, and V. Thierry. 2006. “Political Foundations of the Resource Curse.” Journal of Development Economics 79 (2): 447–68.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ruhil, A., and P. Camões. 2003. “What Lies Beneath: The Political Roots of State Merit Systems.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 13: 27–42.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ross, M. 2001. Timber Booms and Institutional Breakdown in Southeast Asia. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Ryan, A. 1972. “Utilitarianism and Bureaucracy.” In Studies in the Growth of Nineteenth Century Government, edited by G. Sutherland, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar

  • Stephenson, M. 2008. “Optimal Political Control of the Bureaucracy.” Michigan Law Review 107: 53.Google Scholar

  • Stephenson, M. 2011. “Information Acquisition and Institutional Design.” Harvard Law Review 124: 1422.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2015-04-30

Published in Print: 2015-07-01


Funding: The author acknowledges the financial support from the Ramon y Cajal program, Research Grant SGR 1064 by the Catalan Government and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, through the Severo Ochoa Programme for Centres of Excellence in R&D (SEV-2011-0075). All mistakes are that of the author.


Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 15, Issue 3, Pages 961–996, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, ISSN (Print) 2194-6108, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2013-0084.

Export Citation

©2015 by De Gruyter. Copyright Clearance Center

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Marina Nistotskaya and Luciana Cingolani
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 2016, Volume 26, Number 3, Page 519

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in