Choosing Not to Choose: When Politicians Choose to Delegate Powers

Posted: 27 Feb 2002  

Stefan Voigt

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Eli Salzberger

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law

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Abstract

Elected politicians often choose to delegate competence to various agencies rather than deciding themselves. The paper deals with the apparent paradox that competence is being transferred despite the fact that politicians are assumed to maximize individual utility. The constitutional structure, which is assumed to be exogenously given, serves as the independent variable in deriving hypotheses concerning delegation behavior as the dependent variable. Two categories of delegation can be distinguished: domestic delegation - to agencies within the legislators' jurisdiction - and international delegation - to supranational or international bodies. The choice of the body to which decision-making powers are transferred has rarely been analyzed within a unified framework. The paper deals with this issue.

Keywords: Delegation of Powers, Separation of Powers, Positive Constitutional Economics, agencies, international organizations

JEL Classification: H11, K00, P51

Suggested Citation

Voigt, Stefan and Salzberger, Eli, Choosing Not to Choose: When Politicians Choose to Delegate Powers. Kyklos, Vol. 55, April 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=299250

Stefan Voigt (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany
+49-40-428385782 (Phone)
+49-40-428386794 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Eli M. Salzberger

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel
972-4-8240005 (Phone)
972-4-8240681 (Fax)

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