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Bureaucrats, Legislators, and the Size of Government

Gary J. Miller and Terry M. Moe
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 77, No. 2 (Jun., 1983), pp. 297-322
DOI: 10.2307/1958917
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1958917
Page Count: 26
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Bureaucrats, Legislators, and the Size of Government
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Abstract

Some recent theories have blamed the growth of government on budget-maximizing bureaucrats who are assumedly capable of imposing their most preferred budget-output combination on legislatures, subject to cost and demand constraints. However, theoretical examination of the range of bargaining outcomes that might occur between bureau and legislature shows that budget-maximizing behavior does not necessarily lead to super-optimal levels of production, nor do the suggested reforms of competition and privatization necessarily improve the situation. In this bargaining model, the central determinants of governmental growth are not budget-maximizing bureaucrats, but the legislature's decisions regarding mode of oversight and form of internal organization.

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