Delegation and Accountability

40 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2009

See all articles by Justin Fox

Justin Fox

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Political Science

Stuart V. Jordan

University of Rochester - Department of Political Science

Date Written: December 16, 2009

Abstract

Critics of legislative delegation to the bureaucracy worry that delegation diminishes electoral accountability and exacerbates legislative shirking. This paper provides equilibrium foundations for such concerns in a model in which legislators are heterogeneous in their policy preferences and bureaucrats have expertise concerning the policies that best serve the public. We further use our model to address debates concerning the welfare consequence of judicial enforcement of the nondelegation doctrine. We find that when the risk of special-interest capture of incumbent legislators is high and bureaucratic expertise is limited, a ban on delegation would benefit our model's representative voter; otherwise, the representative voter gains from delegation despite the fact that it can be exploited by unscrupulous politicians.

Keywords: delegation, accountability, political agency, nondelegation doctrine

JEL Classification: D72, D73

Suggested Citation

Fox, Justin and Jordan, Stuart V., Delegation and Accountability (December 16, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1524585 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1524585

Justin Fox (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Political Science ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1063
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.wustl.edu/justinfox/

Stuart V. Jordan

University of Rochester - Department of Political Science ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

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