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Journal Article

Congressional Oversight Overlooked: Police Patrols versus Fire Alarms

Mathew D. McCubbins and Thomas Schwartz
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 28, No. 1 (Feb., 1984), pp. 165-179
DOI: 10.2307/2110792
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2110792
Page Count: 15
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Congressional Oversight Overlooked: Police Patrols versus Fire Alarms
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Abstract

Scholars have often remarked that Congress neglects its oversight responsibility. We argue that Congress does no such thing: what appears to be a neglect of oversight really is the rational preference for one form of oversight--which we call fire-alarm oversight--over another form--police-patrol oversight. Our analysis supports a somewhat neglected way of looking at the strategies by which legislators seek to achieve their goals.

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