NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Elected versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence

Stephen Coate, Timothy Besley

NBER Working Paper No. 7579
Issued in March 2000
NBER Program(s):   IO   PE

This paper contrasts direct election with political appointment of regulators. When regulators are appointed, regulatory policy becomes bundled with other policy issues the appointing politicians are responsible for. Since regulatory issues are not salient for most voters, regulatory policy outcomes reflect the preferences of party elites and special interests. Direct election of regulators strengthens the power of voters by ensuring the salience of regulatory issues. Using panel data on regulatory outcomes from U.S. states, we find evidence in favor of the idea that elected states are more pro-consumer in their regulatory policies.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7579

Published: Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1176-1206, 09.

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