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.

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European Journal of Political Economy
Erasmus School of Economics

Swank, O.H. (2000). Policy Advice, Secrecy, and Reputational Concerns. European Journal of Political Economy, 257–271. doi:10.1016/S0176-2680(99)00054-3