A Property Rights Approach to Legislative Delegation

34 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2010 Last revised: 28 Jan 2010

See all articles by Peter Grajzl

Peter Grajzl

Washington and Lee University - Department of Economics; CESifo

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 14, 2010


This paper applies the property rights theory to study both positive and normative aspects of legislative delegation in a setup where interest groups directly influence lawmaking by initiating regulatory bargaining. A self-interested legislature choosing between the direct exercise of its legislative authority and delegation to an administrative agency must therefore trade off the value of bureaucratic competence against bureaucratic drift and, importantly, loss of control over bargaining. Our analysis, first, clarifies when the legislature's choice between delegation and no delegation is socially efficient or socially inefficient; second, illustrates the role of political bargaining and shows that precluding interest group influence through bargaining may actually increase the scope for socially inefficient outcomes; third, develops novel predictions on the type of policy issues that we should observe get delegated; and, fourth, reflects on the practice of the scant empirical work on legislative delegation.

Keywords: Legislative delegation, property rights, interest groups, regulatory bargaining

JEL Classification: D73, K23, K40, P50

Suggested Citation

Grajzl, Peter, A Property Rights Approach to Legislative Delegation (January 14, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1536770 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1536770

Peter Grajzl (Contact Author)

Washington and Lee University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, VA 24450
United States

HOME PAGE: http://home.wlu.edu/~grajzlp/

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679

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