Due to a lack of time and expertise, policy makers often rely on others, such as bureaucrats, experts, or advisers, when policy decisions have to be made. A nontrivial problem is that those who possess information have a vested interest in the policy outcome; this gives them an incentive to manipulate or conceal information. In this book, we examine a penalty for lying and the power to replace an advisor as a means of restraining information providers from information manipulation. We argue that these two institutional arrangements may not always help a policy maker to attain a better decision (Chapters 2 and 3). Inasmuch as consequences of policies are complicated and difficult to foresee, small groups like committees often assist policy makers to collect information, deliberate over policies, and devise policy recommendations. As information is not for free, committee members must be motivated to collect it. We shed some light on how deliberation affects committee members’ incentives to gather the costly information, and thus the quality of collective decision-making (Chapter 4). Outside the political arena, agency problems between politicians and voters also exist. In Chapter 5, we examine how elections play their role of disciplining and selecting politicians and how policy choices are made when politicians differ in their motivations in running for political office.

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Swank, Prof. Dr. O.H. (promotor)
Thela Thesis, Amsterdam
O.H. Swank (Otto)
Tinbergen Instituut Research Series
Erasmus School of Economics

Wrasai, P. (2005, December 22). Agency Problems in Political Decision Making (No. 368). Tinbergen Instituut Research Series. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/7190