Principled Agents?: The Political Economy of Good Government / Edition 1 by Timothy Besley | 9780199283910 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Principled Agents?: The Political Economy of Good Government / Edition 1

Principled Agents?: The Political Economy of Good Government / Edition 1

by Timothy Besley
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199283915

ISBN-13: 9780199283910

Pub. Date: 09/21/2007

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

What is good government? Why do some governments fail? How do you implement political accountability in practice? What incentives do you need to put in place to ensure that politicians and public servants act in the public interest and not their own? These questions and many more are addressed in Timothy Besley's intriguing Lindahl lectures.

Overview

What is good government? Why do some governments fail? How do you implement political accountability in practice? What incentives do you need to put in place to ensure that politicians and public servants act in the public interest and not their own? These questions and many more are addressed in Timothy Besley's intriguing Lindahl lectures.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199283910
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/21/2007
Series:
Lindahl Lectures on Monetary and Fiscal Policy Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents


Preface to Paperback Edition     x
Preface     xi
Acknowledgements     xiv
Competing views of government     1
The issues     1
This book     2
Background     4
The size of government     4
Corruption     10
Property rights     14
Trust and turnout     17
Economic polity making     20
Foundations     21
Good policies     23
The public choice critique of welfare economics     25
Political economy     27
Incentives and selection in politics     36
Concluding comments     43
The anatomy of government failure     45
Introduction     45
Three notions of government failure     48
Pareto inefficiency     48
Distributional failures     49
Wicksellian failures     52
Comparisons     53
An example: financing a public project     55
Private provision     56
Government provision     57
Sources of government failure     59
Ignorance     59
Influence     61
The quality of leadership     68
Sources of political failure     70
Voting     71
Log-rolling and legislative behavior     74
Dynamics     77
Investment linkages     78
Political and policy linkages     82
Investment and politics     89
Implications     93
Concluding comments     97
Political agency and accountability     98
Introduction     98
Elements of political agency models     102
The nature of the uncertainty     103
The motives for holding office     104
The nature of accountability     105
Retrospective voting     105
Model types     106
The baseline model     108
The environment     108
Equilibrium     110
Implications     111
Extensions     123
Polarization and competition     124
Information and accountability     128
The nature of the distortion     136
Within-term cycles     141
Multiple issues     144
Multiple two-period terms     148
Indefinite terms      154
Multiple agents     157
Discussion     165
Civic virtue and the quality of government     165
Decentralization versus centralization     166
Autocracy versus democracy     169
Accountability to whom?     169
Wage policies for politicians     170
Behavioral versus rational choice models     172
Concluding comments     172
Political agency and public finance (with Michael Smart)     174
Introduction     174
The model     177
Three scenarios     180
Pure adverse selection     180
Pure moral hazard     182
Combining moral hazard and adverse selection     185
Implications     188
Equilibrium voter welfare     189
Are good politicians necessarily good for voters?     191
Turnover of politicians     193
The spending cycle     194
Restraining government     195
A direct restraint on the size of government     199
Indirect restraints     200
Summary     209
Debt and deficits     210
Governments versus NGOs     214
Framework      216
Aid to the government     219
Comparisons     220
Further issues     222
Competence     223
Conclusions     225
Appendix     226
Final Comments     228
References     234
Index     249

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