Accountability, cumplimiento y políticas públicas: una propuesta teórica de diseño institucional y un estudio de caso en la Región de La Araucanía, Chile

    Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


    In the thesis we analyzed the conditions under which, in the context of a multilevel principal-agent relationship set up in accordance with the implementation of public policy programs and integrated by benefiting citizens, elected politicians and appointed bureaucrats, it is possible to target towards compliance the last agent of this relationship (executing agent), who is the direct implementer of programs in the state bureaucratic hierarchical organizations operating through successive downward delegations. The theoretical proposal for institutional design indicates that a way to focus towards the compliance of the executing agent is that its performance is regulated by a balance articulated from internal vertical accountability (control from the bureaucratic organization itself) and from social vertical accountability (control from citizens as beneficiaries of public policy program) and furthermore, that this accountability has to be within the demanding level, i. e. the agent is required to inform and that the evaluation of its management is binding on the incentive received, which is the contract renewal, which therefore is subject to performance. In support of this, the thesis had an eminently theoretical purpose and the general objective was to develop, from a theoretical framework that systematizes and integrates content about accountability and institutional design, theoretical models that provide micro-foundations to explain why social and internal vertical accountability devices promote compliance of the executing agents in the implementation of public policy programs. The first chapters provide theoretical background on the principal-agent theory, on the principal-agent relationship between elected politicians, appointed bureaucrats and citizens, bearing on trust and reputation as bases for delegation in principal-agent relationships and how non-compliance of executing agent can affect agency relationships that make up the principal-agent multi-level relationship, which, in turn, affects the effectiveness of the public policy programs implemented and public confidence, as beneficiaries of these programs, towards the politicians elected, who are the policy makers, and to the institutions that implement programs. We then performed a theoretical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of contracts, incentives, monitoring devices, social networks and civic virtues as ways to guide the executing agent towards compliance. Then we analyzed the accountability of the executing agent located in the demanding level and which considers the social and internal vertical accountability as a way to promote compliance of the executing agent in a multilevel principal-agent relationship. From this analysis we made proposals for institutional design and formulated hypotheses that were tested through a case study with a qualitative approach on the implementation of a program of social policy in Chile, specifically the Local Development Programme (PRODESAL) of the Ministry of Agriculture, which was developed in the Operations Unit El Valle, Cunco Commune, La Araucanía Region. The empirical evidence available from the case study shows that accountability, thus conceived, orients the executing agent towards compliance. We also stress as result of this research the relevance of the features of the institutional design that operates in the multilevel principal-agent relationship of the PRODESAL program that apart from enhancing compliance in each of the principal-agent relationships that make up the multilevel relationship, it has a virtuous effect towards reinforcing social and internal vertical accountability devices that guide the executing agent towards compliance. Finally, we identified institutional design limitations of the PRODESAL program that can reduce the efficiency of multilevel principal-agent relationship, affecting the interests of citizens.
    Date of Award16 Jan 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJose Antonio Noguera Ferrer (Director)

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