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Principled Agents?The Political Economy of Good Government$
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Timothy Besley

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199283910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199283910.001.0001

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Political agency and accountability

Political agency and accountability

Chapter:
(p.98) 3 Political agency and accountability
Source:
Principled Agents?
Author(s):

Timothy Besley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199283910.003.0003

This chapter considers political agency models, which explore the consequences of limited information in politics. It develops a canonical model which is then used to discuss an array of issues that arise in such models. As well as providing an introduction to the literature, the chapter throws up a variety of issues that have not been fully understood to date and merit further work. It also emphasises the empirical potential of these models in explaining real world policy choices. At the heart of the models is the notion of political accountability — a frequently used concept that often lacks precise usage. The political agency model is an ideal vehicle for thinking about this idea and exploring how accountability works in practice.

Keywords:   political agency model, baseline model, government, limited information, political accountability, policy choice

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