Delegating to the Quango: Ex Ante and Ex Post Ministerial Constraints

37 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2005

See all articles by Anthony M. Bertelli

Anthony M. Bertelli

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics

Date Written: February 4, 2005

Abstract

This paper examines the contemporary formal theory of delegation in the environment of quasi-governmental, special purpose bodies (SPBs). Better known as "quangos", these agencies present a challenge for the theory of delegation, since their tasks are often comprised of routine administration, such as the distribution of benefits and the collection of user fees, rather than more politically salient policymaking. Do (spatial) policy conflict and legislative capacity effect the conditions under which authority is delegated to quangos? What effect do "good government" ideology and legislative capacity have on the presence of ex ante and ex post control over quangos? These questions are theoretically framed by the hidden action problem particularly acute in the case of quangos. Theoretical predictions are examined with data from a study of Dutch public bodies by the Netherlands Court of Audit and as well as issue scales from the Manifesto Research Group. Multinomial logit statistical models produce evidence that though policy conflict and legislative capacity measures affect the probabilities of enacting both ex ante and ex post controls, their contributions to ex post measures, as expected in the presence of important hidden action incentives, are much stronger.

Keywords: delegation, quasigovernment, special purpose body, agency

JEL Classification: H11

Suggested Citation

Bertelli, Anthony M., Delegating to the Quango: Ex Ante and Ex Post Ministerial Constraints (February 4, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=840064 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.840064

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

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