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Bureaucrats as Public Policy-Makers and Their Self-Interests

Morten Egeberg

Journal of Theoretical Politics, 1995, vol. 7, issue 2, 157-167

Abstract: That public bureaucrats, like most other people, might pursue their private interests as voters, job applicants and union members is hardly surprising. It is the postulate that bureaucrats' self-interested behavior penetrates their role as public decision-makers that represents a challenge, empirical-theoretically as well as normatively.To assess the assumption that bureaucrats' self-interests affect bureaucrats' decisions in their capacity as officials (the self-interest hypothesis), two main points are made. First, the probability that self-interests are conceived and made operational in different issue areas is considered. Second, it is argued that the explanatory power of bureaucrats' self-interests has to depend on characteristics of the self-interest phenomenon itself, for instance whether it is dealt with as a variable or a constant. Moreover, it has to depend on the relative importance of other explanations.

Keywords: bureaucrats' self-interest; bureaucratic policy-making; bureau behavior (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:sae:jothpo:v:7:y:1995:i:2:p:157-167