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Input Controls in the Public Sector [electronic resource] : What Does Economic Theory offer?.

By: International Monetary Fund.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: IMF Working Papers; Working Paper: No. 88/59Publisher: Washington, D.C. : International Monetary Fund, 1988Description: 1 online resource (40 p.).ISBN: 1451965559 :.ISSN: 1018-5941.Subject(s): Benefits | Capital Expenditure | Expenditure | Expenditures | Salaries | New ZealandAdditional physical formats: Print Version:: Input Controls in the Public Sector : What Does Economic Theory offer?Online resources: IMF e-Library | IMF Book Store Abstract: This paper reviews the economic literature on bureaucratic behavior, the theory of the firm, and agency theory and its application to the public sector, to determine whether any lessons can be drawn regarding how far governments should go in delegating control over inputs to public sector managers. Against a background survey of country practices, the paper concludes that input controls are one of a number of ways of dealing with the agency problem of trying to ensure that bureaucrats act in the interests of the government. Other methods can be, and have been, used for dealing with moral hazard-type agency problems, but features of current budgetary systems make it more difficult to deal with inputs that have implications for future resource use.
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This paper reviews the economic literature on bureaucratic behavior, the theory of the firm, and agency theory and its application to the public sector, to determine whether any lessons can be drawn regarding how far governments should go in delegating control over inputs to public sector managers. Against a background survey of country practices, the paper concludes that input controls are one of a number of ways of dealing with the agency problem of trying to ensure that bureaucrats act in the interests of the government. Other methods can be, and have been, used for dealing with moral hazard-type agency problems, but features of current budgetary systems make it more difficult to deal with inputs that have implications for future resource use.

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