Delegation of Political Authority to Bureaucratic Agencies in an Authoritarian Regime: An Analysis of Regional Economic Regulation in Kazakhstan



This paper investigates the delegation of economic policy implementation in non-democratic settings. It draws on a dataset of statutory and administrative regulation created between 1991 and 2011 in Kazakhstan in order to investigate economic effects of bureaucratic discretion. The examination of regional and temporal variation in the number and detail of economic regulations shows that while regulatory intervention does not have a discernible effect on economic performance, statutory constraints on bureaucratic discretion have a positive effect. This finding supports the notion that in the absence of societal accountability, statutory constraint on the administrative apparatus leads to a more stable business climate and better economic performance. The paper explicates the ways in which theories of delegation apply to autocracies and broadens our understanding of political control over economic policy implementation.


Economic regulations Bureaucratic discretion Business climate Statutory controls Authoritarian regimes Kazakhstan 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International RelationsLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA

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