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Essays on policy-making incentives of government

Yazaki, Yukihiro (2013) Essays on policy-making incentives of government. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis is a collection of three independent essays on policy-making incentives of government. The first essay examines whether citizens can indirectly control bureaucrats. If voters and bureaucrats prefer different types of politicians, i.e., they have a conflict of interest, incumbents need to increase the budget to prevent bureaucrats from information manipulation, which leads to an oversized government. If, instead, voters and bureaucrats prefer the same type of politicians, i.e., they have an alignment of interests, bureaucrats can send to voters a credible signal about the type of incumbents, which enhances the selection effect of election. Although political appointees enable politicians to implement the first-best policy in the case of the conflict of interests, they lead to the persistence of inefficient government in the case of the alignment of interests. The second and third essays study how autocrats commit not to confiscate private property. The second essay argues that the potential of economic growth would help the ruler to make a credible commitment. Since a predatory policy reduces the citizens’ income, it would reduce capital accumulation because of the income effect. Then, the ruler faces a trade-off between the current consumption with the predatory policy and the larger future consumption with the moderate policy, which would lead to economic growth. The third essay models endogenous judicial independence (JI) as a commitment device in the political commitment game. If information on JI is transmitted to citizens with positive probability, the ruler creates JI and does not renege on an announcement. Even if not, the ruler still can guarantee property rights by granting human rights as a signal on JI if the cost of the signal is low.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Yukihiro Yazaki
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Sets: Departments > Economics
Supervisor: Padró i Miquel, Gerard

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