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Delegation and Bureaucratic Policymaking with Competing Oversight



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Delegation and Bureaucratic Policymaking with Competing Oversight Alan E Wiseman Department of Political Science The Ohio State University 2140 Derby Hall 154 N Oval Mall Columbus OH 43210 1373 Wiseman 69 osu edu Abstract I develop a formal model of bureaucratic policymaking in which a legislature delegates authority to a bureaucratic agency that is subject to ex post review by an executive with diverse preferences Equilibrium results identify conditions under which executive clearance of agency rulemaking can be pareto optimal for both branches of government in comparison to legislative delegation without the prospect for executive review This joint desirability of executive review is more likely when the Legislature and Executive branches have relatively aligned preferences and also when the Legislature and bureaucratic agency have relatively diverse preferences Results also indicate that the impact of executive review on social welfare varies depending on the relative effectiveness of the executive s oversight of agency policymaking Such results offer insight for why mediating lawmaking institutions such as the Office of Information and Regulatory Analysis OIRA continue to survive in a separation of powers system despite their potential to advantage one branch of government at the expense of the other The author thanks Steve Balla Larry Baum Jan Box Steffensmeier Ethan Bueno de Mesquita Sean Gailmard Stuart Jordan Keith Krehbiel Dean Lacy David Lewis Forrest Maltzman Kathleen McGraw Adam Meirowitz Matthew Stephenson Michael Ting Craig Volden Jack Wright and seminar participants in the Ohio State Department of Political Science RAP workshop for helpful comments on this project 1 The Office of Management and Budget is probably the most powerful agency in the federal government Because of the Office s carefully maintained low profile however the public is generally unaware of OMB s influence on federal policy A wide array of powers has made OMB an influential near



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