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Policy-Development Monopolies: Adverse Consequences and Institutional Responses

Hirsch, Alexander V. and Shotts, Kenneth W. (2018) Policy-Development Monopolies: Adverse Consequences and Institutional Responses. Journal of Politics, 80 (4). pp. 1339-1354. ISSN 0022-3816.

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We analyze a model of policy making in which only one actor (e.g., a bureaucratic agency or a well-funded interest group) has the capacity to develop high-quality policy proposals. By virtue of her skills, this actor has an effective monopoly on policy development and thus can craft proposals that are good for herself but provide few benefits to decision makers who enact policies. We then examine institutional responses that decision makers can use to induce a policy-development monopolist to craft more appealing proposals: (i) establishing in-house policy development capacity, (ii) delegating authority to an agent who counterbalances the monopolist’s preferences, and (iii) fostering competition by policy developers with different preferences. We apply our model to a diverse set of contexts, including lobbying in term-limited state legislatures, regulation of banking and financial services, and administrative procedures for rule making in US federal bureaucracies.

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Additional Information:© 2018 by the Southern Political Science Association. Published online August 15, 2018. Part of Ken Shotts’s research on this project was completed during a sabbatical at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. We thank Jon Bendor, Georgy Egorov, Pablo Montagnes, Ethan Scheiner, Craig Volden, Alan Wiseman, and seminar audiences at George Mason’s Virginia Political Economy Conference, the 2014 and 2016 annual meetings of the Southern Political Science Association, Stanford Political Science, Universidad de Chile, Université Paris-Dauphine, University of Western Ontario’s Ivey Business School, and Yale’s Center for the Study of American Politics for helpful comments. We also appreciate extremely detailed comments and suggestions from the editor and three referees about ways to improve this article.
Subject Keywords:bureaucracy, information, lobbying, public policy, regulation
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181011-135625543
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Official Citation:Alexander V. Hirsch and Kenneth W. Shotts, "Policy-Development Monopolies: Adverse Consequences and Institutional Responses," The Journal of Politics 80, no. 4 (October 2018): 1339-1354.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90255
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Oct 2018 12:37
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:23

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