A Mercantile Theory of Expert Knowledge Utilization in Patrimonialist Bureaucracies: Evidence from the Health Sector in Peru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article formulates a theory of expert knowledge utilization in patrimonialist administrative traditions characterized by politicians’ predominance over bureaucrats. The argument is that in these weak institutional contexts acquiring “expert knowledge” enables politicians to control key bureaucratic functions that facilitates rent extraction to fund their campaigns, and in doing so, they eventually and circumstantially produce some positive welfare outcomes. My findings show that tenured politicians employ expert knowledge to expand their control over previously unknown administrative regulations, temporarily building capacities that enables them to (re)direct budgets to policy areas that report electoral gains, and sometimes incurring in collusion. In contrast, newcomer politicians often fail to take advantage of expert knowledge transferred given their inexperience in office hence producing less welfare outputs. This article sources evidence from a knowledge transfer program designed by the Peruvian central government to enlighten local politicians in the country’s fight against children stunting. Evidence combining a time-varying semiexperimental analysis (Panel DID) and in-depth interviews with regional and local politicians, as well as high level civil servants, largely confirm my theoretical claims.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 6 Jul 2022

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A Mercantile Theory of Expert Knowledge Utilization in Patrimonialist Bureaucracies: Evidence from the Health Sector in Peru'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this