Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals and Officials make work for each other

A beast called government Amit Varma indiauncut.com 15 March, 2007
This is the fifth installment of my weekly column for
Mint, Thinking it Through
Governments are collections of people, individuals like you and me, motivated by self-interest. The actions of government are the actions of these men and women, and the best way to understand how they are likely to behave—and therefore, how governments are likely to behave—is to consider their incentives. Outside of government, we get ahead, whether in our jobs or doing business, by giving other people goods or services that they require. There is a direct correlation between what we give and what we get, and clear accountability: if I overstep my deadline for this column one more time, for example, Mint will surely find another columnist to fill this space!
But the incentives in government are different, and they do not drive a bureaucrat to work in the public interest. This is superbly illustrated in C Northcote Parkinson’s delightful classic, Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress. Parkinson, examining the British civil service, found that it tended to expand by a predictable percentage every year, “irrespective of any variation in the amount of work (if any) to be done.” He explained this with “two almost axiomatic sentences”: “(1) “An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals” and (2) “Officials make work for each other.” Posted by Amit Varma in Economics Essays and Op-Eds India Politics Thinking it Through

No comments:

Post a Comment