Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2015: Ökonomische Entwicklung - Theorie und Politik - Session: Political Economy III C21-V1
Motivated by the recent concerns of the scientists participating in the elaboration of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment reports, we study a principal-agent relationship between a politician and a researcher that captures some stylized facts regarding the involvement of politics into scientific research. The politician contracts with a researcher in order to get some scientific advice about a policy relevant variable. The politician trades off the policy that he would implement in the absence of any reelection concerns with a desire to please voters by choosing a policy that is supported by scientific advice and that turns out to be the ``right'' policy ex post. As a consequence, the politician bribes the researcher to bias his scientific advice towards the ideal policy of the politician. We study the optimal contracts under symmetric and under asymmetric information about the researcher's ability and concern for reputation, as well as the selection of a researcher by the politician. Thereby we identify several conflicts between the interests of the voters and those of the politician.