The Economics of Transparency in Politics  book cover
1st Edition

The Economics of Transparency in Politics

ISBN 9781138277663
Published February 27, 2017 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

The purpose of this book is to formulate economic models of the advantages and costs of transparency in various areas of public sector activity and to assess what level of obfuscation in politics is rational. The chapters are arranged in four parts. Part 1 is concerned with the manifestations of transparency and obfuscation in domestic democratic settings whilst Part 2 deals with the same realities but in an international context. Part 3 looks at corruption and Part 4 considers some of the implications of transparency and obfuscation for the working of governments and the formulation of public policies.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Albert Breton, Gianluigi Galeotti, Pierre Salmon, and Ronald Wintrobe. Part 1 In Democratic Contexts: Acquiescence to opacity, Pierre Salmon and Alain Wolfelsperger; Citizens' Knowledge, Politicians' Duplicity, Russell Hardin; Transparency and efficiency, Albert Breton. Part 2 In International Settings: The Artist as a Secret Agent: Liberalism Against Populism, Manfred J. Holler; Jihad vs. McWorld: A Rational Choice Approach, Ronald Wintrobe. Part 3 Corruption: Invisible Feet and Grabbing Hands: the Political Economy of Corruption and Welfare, Johann Lambsdorff; Information, Corruption, and Measures for the Promotion of Manufactured Exports, Glenn P. Jenkins and Chun-Yan Kuo. Part 4 Government Behavior: Cases for and Against Transparency/Obfuscation in Intergovernmental Relations, Giorgio Brosio; Transparency in the Budget Process of a Bureaucratic Organization: A Principal-Agent Model of Budgeting, Louis M. Imbeau; Redistribution, Decentralization, and Constitutional Rules, Federico Etro and Piero Giarda. Index.

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Albert Breton is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Toronto, Canada. Much of his research has been and continues to be on the application of neo-classical economics to issues such as federalism and decentralization. Gianluigi Galeotti is Professor of Public Economics at the University of Rome (La Sapienza), Italy. He has worked on the economics of political behavior and now works on a neo-institutional approach to Law and Economics. Pierre Salmon is a member of the Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion, a research team of the Université de Bourgogne, France, where he is now professor emeritus. He formerly taught at the Universities of Rennes and Paris and at the European University Institute in Florence. Ronald Wintrobe is Professor of Economics at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and co-director of the Political Economy Research Group. He has published many books and articles in professional journals.


'Transparency has become a mantra for many policy reformers. But the matter is surely not straightforward, as reflection on the virtues of the secret ballot quickly shows. The papers in this volume explore the large territory between transparency and obfuscation from both positive and normative perspectives.' Stanley L. Winer, Carleton University, Canada '...[this] volume raises many important issues and draws attention to many of the benefits and costs associated with transparency.' Public Choice