Despite growing reliance on indirect market-based policy instruments under the New Public Management reforms, bureaucrats often prefer direct regulatory instruments. Thus, for successful implementation of indirect policy instruments, it is important to understand the underlying motives for bureaucrats' preferences. This article shows that based on unique survey data from Korea, bureaucrats with higher public service motivation have a stronger preference for direct policy instruments. This pattern is strong for bureaucrats at lower job levels and for those who report greater willingness for self-sacrifice, but not necessarily for those who show strong commitment for the public interest. These results contradict a view that bureaucrats prefer direct policy instruments out of self-interest to maintain private benefits. Rather, direct policy instruments may require more work and even more unpleasant direct interactions with the clientele being served, but allow the bureaucrats to stay in control of and feel more responsible for the services provided.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory|
|State||Published - Jan 2017|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration