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Published May 1992 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Political Control of Bureaucracies under Asymmetric Information


We analyze a model of interest group influence where this influence arises from a group's ability to provide relevant information to political actors about regulatory performance. The model rests on three premises: (I) bureaucrats possess an informational advantage, vis-à-vis their political overseers, concerning policy relevant variables; (2) this informational advantage is potentially exploitable by the agency; and (3) politicians anticipate this exploitation and adapt to it in their design of agencies. We show that a major consequence of this anticipation and adaptation is service to organized interest groups.

Additional Information

© 1992 Midwest Political Science Association. Manuscript received 18 May 1989. Final manuscript submitted 8 August 1991. The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Science Foundation under grants SES 87-00468 and SES 86-17516, respectively. We also thank Paul Rubin and Jon Bendor for detailed and valuable comments on an earlier draft.

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