A theory of policy advice

Otto H. Swank, Wilko Letterie, Hendrik P. Van Dalen

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


This article analyzes a model of the policy decision process in ministerial governments. A spending minister and a finance minister are involved in making a decision concerning a public project. The two ministers have partially conflicting preferences. Policy decisions are made in two stages. In the first stage the spending minister consults a technical expert to obtain information about the technical consequences of the project. If the technical consequences are favourable, in the second stage the finance minister consults a financial expert to obtain information about the financial consequences. The finance minister can veto a proposal for undertaking the project. This article illustrates the consequences of specialization for information transmission. A drawback of specialization is that projects are evaluated on the basis of their individual consequences rather than on the basis of their total consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-614
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Law, Economics, and Organization
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999


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