Economic Theories and the Science of Inter-Branch Relations
Title: Economic Theories and the Science of Inter-Branch Relations
Author: KARAGIANNIS, Yannis
Series/Report no.: EUI RSCAS; 2007/04
Once again, the relations between the branches of government attract the attention of increasing numbers of political scientists. The new literature raises questions such as the (a) determinants of the delegation of powers by one branch to another, (b) the resulting levels of discretion of the delegate, and (c) the control mechanisms available to the delegating branch. The analysis draws heavily from a handful of economic theories, such as principal-agent, the positive theory of agency, transactions cost economics, and incomplete contracts theory. This article (1) differentiates between those theories, (2) argues against mixing those theories, and (3) makes a strong and comparative point in favour of redirecting inter-branch relations studies towards transactions cost economics. Yet, a truly consistent political-scientific theory of transactions cost economics has not yet emerged. The conclusions point to the way forward for the construction of such a theory.
Subject: Branches of government; Policy-making; Principal-Agent; Transaction cost economics
Type of Access: openAccess