Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus
Chapter 14: Administrative Law and Economics
Jean-Michel Josselin and Alain Marciano The domain of administrative law and economics The use of economics to understand administrative law may not be as widespread as in other areas of legal doctrine and practice. Public behaviours are none the less unambiguously susceptible to economic investigation. The objective here is to provide some general guidance as to how political economy can be used to understand the legal dimension of the state. In this respect, the domain of administrative law and economics consists of two related approaches. The ﬁrst one deals with both the efﬁciency and the control of administration, in a given constitutional framework. Two levels of objectives can be set therein. On the one hand, coherence of administrative behaviours and actions must be assured with regard to the goals of the state and the protection of private rights. The prominent feature is rent seeking. On the other hand, internal control is necessary at the level of the administrative agencies themselves. Bureaucratic behaviours must be contained by proper incentive mechanisms. This public choice perspective amounts to an evaluation of the outcomes of the behaviour of the administration, and can be summarized by the question: how to judge the actions of the state? In this chapter, we shall not deal with this issue which, as is exempliﬁed by the growing public choice literature dedicated to it, clearly requires a distinctive (notwithstanding inevitable overlap) treatment. This entry rather belongs to the second type of approach which considers the general constitutional framework...
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