1st Edition

Bureaucracy and Representative Government

By Jr. Niskanen Copyright 1971
    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    251 Pages
    by Routledge

    This is the first book to develop a formal theory of supply by bureaus. Niskanen develops an original and comprehensive theory of the behavior of bureaus with the institutions of representative government. He challenges the traditional view that monopoly bureaus are the best way to organize the public sector, and he suggests ways to use competitive bureaus and private firms to perform operations such as delivering mail, fighting wars, or running schools more efficiently than the present government agencies.

    The theory concludes that most bureaus are too large, grow too fast, use too much capital, and exploit their sponsor. His theory explains the relation of the output and budget of a bureau to demand and cost decisions. It compares bureaus with other forms of organization facing like conditions and delineates the production and investment behavior of a bureau, the behavior of nonprofit firms with no sponsor, the behavior of mixed bureaus with financing from a sponsor and from the sale of services, the effects of competition between a bureau and a competitive industry.

    The book also develops a simple theory of the market for public services financed through a representative government; the final section suggests a set of changes to improve the performance of our bureaucratic and political institutions, based both on theory and Niskanen's professional experience. It is essential reading for professionals and students in the social sciences and could prove instrumental in reforming some of our government institutions.

    I: Introduction; 1: Introduction; II: Critical Elements of a Theory of Supply by Bureaus; 2: Characteristics of Bureaus; 3: Bureaus and Their Environment; 4: The Bureaucrat’s Maximand; III: The Basic Model; 5: Budget and Output Behavior; 6: Production Behavior; 7: Comparison of Organizational Forms; 8: Effects of Changes in Demand and Cost Conditions; IV: Variations on the Basic Model; 9: Nonprofit Organizations; 10: The “Mixed” Bureau; 11: The Multi-Service Bureau; 12: Effects of the Time-Distribution of Expenditures; V: The Government Market for a Bureau’s Services; 13: The Behavior of Collective Organizations; 14: A Model of the Review Process in Representative Government; 15: Bureaucratic Behavior in a Competitive Environment; 16: An Aggregative Model of Public Services in the United States; VI: The Alternatives; 17: The Basis for Normative Judgments; 18: Bureaucratic Alternatives; 19: Market Alternatives; 20: Political Alternatives; VII: Conclusion; 21: A Summary Agenda


    Jr. Niskanen