Mccubbins Noll Weingast (1987) - Administrative Procedures As Instruments Of Control

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©, 2016


McCubbins, Matt, Roger Noll and Barry Weingast (1987), "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Control", JLEO, pp. 243-277. pdf


A central problem of representative democracy is how to ensure that policy decisions are responsive to the interests or preferences of citizens. The U.S. Constitution deals with the electoral side of this problem by constructing institutional safeguards and incentive structures designed to make elected representatives responsive to citizens. But making policy involves more than decisions by elected legislators and the president. lnevitably, elected officials delegate considerable policy making authority to unelected bureaucrats. Because elected officials have limited resources for monitoring agency's performance, the possibility arises that bureaucrats will not comply with their policy preferences. This gives rise to the question how -or, in deed, whether -elected political officials can reasonably effectively assure that their policy intentions will be carried out. This paper explores the principles of the political control of bureaucratic decisions. In so doing, we seek to develolp a unifying conceptual frLamework for two general types of coIntrols: "oversight" - monitoring, rewarding, and punishing bureaucratic behavior - and adminisitrative proceedures.