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Haucap, Justus
Lange, Mirjam R. J.
Wey, Christian
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
DICE ordnungspolitische Perspektiven 27
Abstract (Translated): 
This paper develops the hypothesis that the inclusion of multiple objectives into laws widens the discretionary powers of executive institutions. As the decision how to balance trade-offs is removed from the political to the executive sphere, policy making becomes less transparent and also less accountable. While including numerous objectives into law may serve as an acknowledgement to the various interests of a heterogeneous citizenry, the pursuit of conflicting objectives implies that public bureaucracies instead of parliaments are given powers to decide about trade-offs. We conjecture that a bureaucracy that has multiple objectives will be less accountable and, therefore, (i) use its instruments excessively and (ii) favor instruments that are effective in the short run, but may be harmful in the long run. We illustrate our hypotheses, analyzing (a) the increasing number of objectives enshrined in Germany's Energy Industry Law and (b) the conflict between the European Commission and the German Government about potential regulatory holidays for new infrastructure investment in telecommunications markets.
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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