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Politics versus Bureaucracy. Let’s analyze further: (Pol & Bur) Institutions QoG (Corruption, Rule of Law) Economic Growth 2) Politics (How decisions are taken) is what matters: Veto players theory: new comparative political theory

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politics versus bureaucracy
Politics versus Bureaucracy
  • Let’s analyze further:
    • (Pol & Bur) Institutions QoG (Corruption, Rule of Law)

Economic Growth

  • 2) Politics (How decisions are taken) is what matters:
    • Veto players theory: new comparative political theory
    • Tsebelis 1995: theoretical discussion
    • Andrew & Montinola 2004: apply veto players theory  corruption
  • 3) Bureaucracy (How policies are implemented) is what matters:
    • Organization of public administrations is key (e.g. staff policy)
    • Evans & Rauch 1999: Bureaucracy  Economic growth
    • (Rauch & Evans 2000: Bureaucracy  Corruption)
good press for political institutions
Good press for ”political institutions”…
  • Quality of Government = Democratic decision-making
    • Democracy is necessary/sufficient condition for QoG
    • Key mechanism: the ”voice of the (representatives of the) people” is taken into account in decision-making
    • For both scholars and policy-makers (economists 1990s, C. Rice 2000s)
  • Some variations within democracies improve the ”good” starting point:
    • Separation of powers
    • Veto players
    • Checks and balances
bad press for bureaucracy
Bad press for “bureaucracy”…
  • Quality of Government # bureaucracy:
    • Obsolescent, undesirable, and non-viable form of administration
    • Market forces/flexibility > Bureaucratic inertia/rigidity
    • W. Niskanen: bureaucrats = budget-maximizers, so size of state may be up to two times the ”social optimum”
    • New Public Management > Bureaucracy
    • States = ”steering” > Private actors = ”rowing”
      • Osborne & Gaebler 1992: Reinventing Government
bad press for bureaucracy4
Bad press for “bureaucracy”…
  • Effects of New Public Management reforms?
  • Non-OECD countries:
    • Olsen 2006 Maybe it is time to rediscover bureaucracy
    • C. Ramio: evaluating reforms in Latin America
  • OECD countries:
    • Privatization of railway, prisons in the UK
    • US: Al Gore ”reinventing government” in the 1990s... Blackwater in Iraq
    • Public education: Milton Friedmans’ and T.Moe’s ”dream”: school vouchers
    • Which is the country with more contracting out in the private sector?
    • Erlingsson, Bergh & Sjölin 2008
so maybe it is time to rediscover bureaucracy
So, maybe it is time to rediscover bureaucracy
  • Bureaucracy # the “organizational dinosaur helplessly involved in its death struggle” we have been told for years
  • The dinosaur is back…
let s come back to political institutions
Let’s come back to political institutions
  • New typology of political systems: Tsebelis’ Veto Player Theory (1995, 2002)
  • Traditional typologies in comparative politics:
    • Democracy/ Dictatorship
    • Presidential/ Parliamentary
    • Electoral systems: Majoritarian/ Proportional
    • E.g. Persson and Tabellini’s highly influential papers
sartori 1984 definition of political systems
Sartori 1984: definition of political systems
  • Presidentialism:
    • Head of State directly elected for a fixed time span
    • Government not appointed by the Parliament, but by the President
  • Parliamentarism:
    • Government is appointed by the Parliament
    • One-party or multiple-party coalition governments
  • Stereotypical examples of both?
  • Which one is separation-of-powers system and which one power-sharing systems?
tsebelis veto players theory
Tsebelis’ Veto Players Theory
  • “Veto players”= individual or collective actors whose agreement is necessary for a change of the status quo of policies
  • Prediction 1: the More Veto Players a country has, the More Policy Stability
  • Other predictions:
    • spatial distance among veto players
    • internal cohesion of the veto player (e.g. position of the individuals within the veto player)
tsebelis veto players theory9
Tsebelis’ Veto Players Theory
  • Instead of comparing political systems according to their “formal” classification as Presidential or Parliamentary, we should look at their number of veto players:
    • Italy (where two or three parties must agree for legislation to pass) = the US, where the agreement between several institutions is needed to pass a law
    • UK (all power in hands of one party) = a presidential regime where the President and the Legislature are in hands of the same party
tsebelis veto players theory10
Tsebelis’ Veto Players Theory
  • Increasing datasets: cross-country & within-country (US, Sweden)
  • Extensively applied to understand which particular policy proposals tend to succeed
  • Unidimensional and multidimensional policy space
andrews and montinola 2004
Andrews and Montinola 2004
  • Prediction: More Veto Players  More Rule of Law
  • Theoretical inspiration:Madison (The Federalist Papers)
    • Institutions must be divided and arranged so that each may be a check on the other
  • The more checks (e.g. veto players)  the less incumbents may misuse their power
a m s game theory model
A&M’s game-theory model
  • Canonical Prisoners’ Dilemma payoff structure:
empirical test
Empirical test
  • How would you test this theory?
  • What should be shown in an empirical test of this theoretical model?
interesting empirical test
Interesting empirical test
  • Faithful codification of the number of veto players in every country following Tsebelis’ theory
  • Very good control variables: among others, Economic Development! (distrust those who don’t…)
  • Each vp +  0.16 increase in the 1-6 index of rule of law
  • They test which classification of political systems works better: the traditional Presidential/Parliamentary regimes or the new Veto Players one
    • Presidential regimes worse than Parliamentary. Why?
problems with the test
Problems with the test?
  • 35 “emerging” democracies in around 20 years = 354 observations?
  • Other variables?
  • Legal origin? Maybe your legal system (Common Law vs. Civil law) matters more
    • Or maybe veto players are only necessary to “reveal” corruption in some legal tradition (interactions matter!)
  • Religion?
  • Time of democracy?
more veto players better qog17





Low revenues

High revenues

Expected outcome under VP model

Actual outcome

More Veto Players  Better QoG?
more veto players better qog18







More reform

Expected outcome under VP model

Actual outcome

More Veto Players  Better QoG?
the bureaucratic dinosaur chronology of a come back
The bureaucratic dinosaurChronology of a come back
  • 1980s: case studies on the importance of the State  Development in East Asia
    • Wade, Haggard, Evans
  • 1985: T Skocpol Bringing the State Back In
    • Debate Alesina vs. Skocpol on the origins of the Welfare State (e.g. Rothstein, Teorell & Samani 2009)
  • 1990s: International institutions start to take state apparatus seriously (FA)
    • World Bank 1997 The State in a Changing World
the bureaucratic dinosaur chronology of a come back21
The bureaucratic dinosaurChronology of a come back
  • 2000s: rising theoretical + empirical studies on “Weberian bureaucracy”
    • The “culturalist Weber” is increasingly abandoned, but the “institutionalist Weber” is rediscovered
    • Evans & Rauch (1999, 2000)
    • Nistotskaya (2009)
  • Challenges ahead: tackle scientifically a concept as broad as bureaucracy / the organization of state apparatuses
    • Difficult to identify key elements: staff policy, administrative procedures (McNollGast)
    • Difficult to measure: “merit”? “# of appointees”?
    • Difficult to travel (Congressional Budget Office)
evans and rauch 1999
Evans and Rauch 1999
  • What makes QoG are not the characteristics of the political system (Pres, Parl, VPs), but features of the Public Administration
  • Move the focus from the Executive and Legislature to the State Administration
evans rauch 1999 a double advance
Evans & Rauch 1999: a double advance
  • Theoretically: show the mechanisms that connect the State Administration with Economic Growth
  • Empirically: an original dataset on bureaucracies
    • 35 developing countries
    • Methodology: experts survey
weberian administration economic growth
+ “Weberian” Administration  + Economic Growth
  • “Weberian” Bureaucracy:
    • Max Weber: Patrimonial Administrations vs. Bureaucratic (Weberian) ones
    • Bureaucracy = meritocratic recruitment + predictable long-term career rewards
  • Why is it good?
mechanisms through which wb affect economic growth
Mechanisms through which WB affect economic growth
  • More Efficient (“better types”, more competent)
    • OK, but why Microsoft does not use them?
  • Longer time horizons (Rauch 1995: US cities)
  • ”Signal” to the private sector (= impartiality)
empirical analysis
Empirical analysis
  • 35 “semi-industrialized” countries
  • High correlation between Weberianess Scale and GDP/cap: 0.67 !!
  • Regression: WS trumps out or reduces the effect of traditional variables explaining economic growth (human capital, domestic investment)