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A Theory of Policy Advice

Otto Swank (), Wilko Letterie () and Hendrik van Dalen ()

Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 1999, vol. 15, issue 3, 602-14

Abstract: This article analyzes a model of the policy decision process in ministerial governments. A spending minister and a finance minister are involved in making a decision concerning a public project. The two ministers have partially conflicting preferences. Policy decisions are made in two stages. In the first stage the spending minister consults a technical expert to obtain information about the technical consequences of the project. If the technical consequences are favourable, in the second stage the finance minister consults a financial expert to obtain information about the financial consequences. The finance minister can veto a proposal for undertaking the project. This article illustrates the consequences of specialization for information transmission. A drawback of specialization is that projects are evaluated on the basis of their individual consequences rather than on the basis of their total consequences. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

Date: 1999
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