Policy Advice, Secrecy, and Reputational Concerns
This paper examines how a policy maker reaches decisions under uncertainty when he cares about holding office. An important assumption is that in order to win elections, the policy maker must show that he is able to distinguish good policies from bad policies. Consequently, the policy maker cares about his reputation. I derive two results. First, reputational concerns induce the policy maker to adopt a secret decision procedure. The reason is that disputes between the policy maker and experts damage the policy maker's reputation. Second, I show that reputational concerns induce the policy maker to ignore important sources of information.
- D72 : Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D82 : Asymmetric and Private Information
- D83 : Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge