TITLE

A question of genesis: An analysis of the determinants of public authorities

AUTHOR(S)
Bourdeaux, C.
PUB. DATE
July 2005
SOURCE
Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory;7/1/2005, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p441
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
One of the central questions in the study of special purpose governments is how to explain their proliferation over the past fifty years. Of particular concern to scholars has been the rise of a hidden government that is not highly accountable through regular democratic processes. This article looks specifically at one form of special purpose government, known as a "public authority," and amends the conventional explanation that local governments principally create public authorities to address public finance concerns. First, I argue that full "service public authorities," which administer and make policy about a particular service arena, raise different concerns about democratic accountability from a "conduit authority" and are a nonparsimonious solution to a public finance problem. Second, drawing on an archival survey of the institutional choices of county governments in dealing with solid waste policy making in New York State, I find that while public finance is a driver in the choice to create a service public authority, equally, if not more important, are the needs of local government to resolve a policy problem in a politically competitive environment.
ACCESSION #
23982447

 

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