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Principled agents? The political economy of good government

Author: Besley, Timothy Series: Lindahl lectures Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP) 2007.Language: EnglishDescription: 266 p. ; 22 cm.ISBN: 9780199283910Type of document: BookBibliography/Index: Includes bibliographical references and index
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Book Europe Campus
Main Collection
Print HB848 .B47 2007
(Browse shelf)
001217318
Available 001217318
Total holds: 0

Includes bibliographical references and index

Digitized

Principled Agents? The Political Economy of Good Government Contents Preface to Paperback Edition Preface Acknowledgements 1 Competing views of government 1.1 The issues 1.2 This book 1.3 Background 1.3.1 The size of government 1.3.2 Corruption 1.3.3 Property rights 1.3.4 Trust and turnout 1.4 Economic policy making 1.4.1 Foundations 1.4.2 Good policies 1.4.3 The public choice critique of welfare economics 1.5 Political economy 1.6 Incentives and selection in politics 1.7 Concluding comments 2 The anatomy of government failure 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Three notions of government failure 2.2.1 Pareto inefficiency 2.2.2 Distributional failures 2.2.3 Wicksellian failures 2.2.4 Comparisons 2.3 An example: financing a public project 2.3.1 Private provision 2.3.2 Government provision x xi xiv 1 1 2 4 4 10 14 17 20 21 23 25 27 36 43 45 45 48 48 49 52 53 55 56 57 2.4 Sources of govemment failure 2.4.1 Ignorance 2.4.2 Influence 2.4.3 The quality of leadership 2.5 Sources of political failure 2.5.1 Voting 2.5.2 Log-rolling and legislative behavior 2.6 Dynamics 2.6.1 Investment linkages 2.6.2 Political and policy linkages 2.6.3 Investment and politics 2.7 Implications 2.8 Concluding comments 3 Political agency and accountability 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Elements of political agency models 3.2.1 The nature of the uncertainty 3.2.2 The motives for holding office 3.2.3 The nature of accountability 3.2.4 Retrospective voting 3.2.5 Model types 3.3 The baseline model 3.3.1 The environment 3.3.2 Equilibrium 3.3.3 Implications 3.4 Extensions 3.4.1 Polarization and competition 3.4.2 Information and accountability 3.4.3 The nature of the distortion 3.4.4 Within-term cycles 3.4.5 Multiple issues 3.4.6 Multiple two-period terms 3.4.7 Indefinite terms 3.4.8 Multiple agents 3.5 Discussion 3.5.1 Civic virtue and the quality of government 3.5.2 Decentralization versus centralization 3.5.3 Autocracy versus democracy 59 59 61 68 70 71 74 77 78 82 89 93 97 98 98 102 103 104 105 105 106 108 108 110 111 123 124 128 136 141 144 148 154 157 165 165 166 169 3.5.4 Accountability to whom? 169 3.5.5 Wage policies for politicians 170 3.5.6 Behavioral versus rational choice models 172 3.6 Concluding comments 172 4 Political agency and public finance (with Michael Smart) 4.1 Introduction 4.2 The model 4.3 Three scenarios 4.3.1 Pure adverse selection 4.3.2 Pure moral hazard 4.3.3 Combining moral hazard and adverse selection 4.4 Implications 4.4.1 Equilibrium voter welfare 4.4.2 Are good politicians necessarily good for voters? 4.4.3 Turnover of politicians 4.4.4 The spending cycle 4.5 Restraining government 4.5.1 A direct restraint on the size of government 4.5.2 Indirect restraints 4.5.3 Summary 4.6 Debt and deficits 4.7 Governments versus NGOs 4.7.1 Framework 4.7.2 Aid to the government 4.7.3 Comparisons 4.7.4 Further issues 4.8 Competence 4.9 Conclusions Appendix 5 Final Comments References Index 174 174 177 180 180 182 185 188 189 191 193 194 195 199 200 209 210 214 216 219 220 222 223 225 226 228 234 249

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