From Weber to Kafka: Political Instability and the Overproduction of Laws
- (pp. 2964-3003)
AbstractWith inefficient bureaucratic institutions, the effects of laws are hard to assess and incompetent politicians may pass laws to build a reputation as skillful reformers. Since too many laws curtail bureaucratic efficiency, this mechanism can generate a steady state with Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Temporary surges in political instability heighten the incentives to overproduce laws and can shift the economy towards the Kafkaesque state. Consistent with the theory, after a surge in political instability in the early 1990s, Italy experienced a significant increase in the amount of poor-quality legislation and a decrease in bureaucratic efficiency.
CitationGratton, Gabriele, Luigi Guiso, Claudio Michelacci, and Massimo Morelli. 2021. "From Weber to Kafka: Political Instability and the Overproduction of Laws." American Economic Review, 111 (9): 2964-3003. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20190672
- D72 Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D73 Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption