Delegating to the quango: Ex ante and ex post ministerial constraints

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This article examines delegation in the environment of quasi-governmental, special purpose bodies. Better known as "quangos," these agencies present a challenge for the theory of delegation, because their tasks are often comprised of routine administration, such as the distribution of benefits and the collection of user fees, rather than more politically salient policymaking. Do (spatial) policy conflict and legislative capacity affect the conditions under which authority is delegated to quangos? What effect do "good government" ideology and legislative capacity have on the presence of ex ante and ex post control over quangos? Theoretical predictions are examined with data from a study of Dutch public bodies as well as issue scales from the Manifesto Research Group. Multinomial logit statistical models produce evidence that although policy conflict and legislative capacity measures affect the probabilities of enacting both ex ante and ex post controls, their contributions to ex post measures, as expected in the presence of important hidden action incentives, are much stronger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-249
Number of pages21
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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