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Bureaucracy in the conception of William A. Niskanen

  • Economics


The paper explains the theory of bureaucracy developed by William A. Niskanen. While sociologist Max Weber's analysis treats the bureaucrats as "eunuchs" or automatic machines creating the public well-being, Niskanen tries to apply standard neo-classical economic models to explain the behaviour bureaucracy as a whole. On this background he concludes that the bureaucracy will concentrate on bargaining process with the sponsor and not on improving the quality of its services. This is a simple explanation why the bureau provides systematically worse products and services to its customers than the standard firm operating on the market.

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