Université de Fribourg

Independent and competing agencies : An effective way to control government

Schelker, Mark ; Eichenberger, Reiner

In: Public Choice, 2007, vol. 130, p. 79-98

Controlling government is a primary focus of the politico-economic literature. Recently, various political institutions have been analyzed from this perspective, most importantly balanced budget rules, fiscal federalism, and direct democracy. However, one type of institution has been neglected so far: elected competitors to the government. Such institutional competition between the government...

Université de Fribourg

Auditor expertise : Evidence from the public sector

Schelker, Mark

In: Economics Letters, 2012, vol. 116, no. 3, p. 432-435

This paper is the first attempt to study the relationship between public auditor expertise and fiscal performance. I find that states requiring the auditor to hold a professional degree feature significantly higher credit ratings and lower expenditures and debt.

Université de Fribourg

The influence of auditor term length and term limits on US state general obligation bond ratings

Schelker, Mark

In: Public Choice, 2012, vol. 150, p. 27-49

Improving transparency and enabling the principal to hold its agents accountable is a major issue in any principal agent relationship. This paper focuses on the role of public auditors in this task and presents evidence on the impact of auditor term length and term limits on government performance measured by state credit ratings at the US State level. I find no clear evidence for the...

Université de Fribourg

Auditors and Corporate Governance : Evidence from the Public Sector

Schelker, Mark

In: KYKLOS, 2013, vol. 66, no. 2, p. 275-300

Corporate auditors review and evaluate financial statements. To enhance independence the selection process and mandatory auditor rotation requirements have been debated intensively. The available empirical evidence is not conclusive and suffers from serious endogeneity problems. We propose learning from the public sector in which auditors play a similar role and present empirical evidence on...

Université de Fribourg

Governance, bureaucratic rents, and well-being differentials across US states

Luechinger, Simon ; Schelker, Mark ; Stutzer, Alois

In: Oxford Economic Papers, 2014, vol. 66, no. 2, p. 443-464

We analyse the influence of institutional restrictions on bureaucratic rents. As a measure for these rents, we propose subjective well-being differentials between workers in the public administration and workers in other industries. Based on data for the US states, we estimate the extent to which institutional efforts to strengthen bureaucratic accountability affect differences in well-being....

Université de Fribourg

Direct and Indirect Effects based on Changes-in-Changes

Huber, Martin ; Schelker, Mark ; Strittmatter, Anthony

In: Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, 2019, p. 1-60

We propose a novel approach for causal mediation analysis based on changesin- changes assumptions restricting unobserved heterogeneity over time. This allows disentangling the causal effect of a binary treatment on a continuous outcome into an indirect effect operating through a binary intermediate variable (called mediator) and a direct effect running via other causal mechanisms. We identify...

Université de Fribourg

Direct and Indirect Effects Based on Difference-in-Differences With an Application to Political Preferences Following the Vietnam Draft Lottery

Deuchert, Eva ; Huber, Martin ; Schelker, Mark

In: Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, 2019, vol. 37, no. 4, p. 710-720

We propose a difference-in-differences approach for disentangling a total treatment effect within specific subpopulations into a direct effect and an indirect effect operating through a binary mediating variable. Random treatment assignment along with specific common trend and effect homogeneity assumptions identify the direct effects on the always and never takers, whose mediator is not...

Université de Fribourg

Lame ducks and divided government: How voters control the unaccountable

Schelker, Mark

In: Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018, vol. 46, no. 1, p. 131-144

Electoral institutions interact through the incentives they provide to policy makers and voters. In this paper divided government is interpreted as the reaction of voters to a sys- tematic control problem. Voters realize that term-limited executives (“lame ducks”) cannot credibly commit to a moderate electoral platform due to missing reelection incentives. By dividing government control...