Don't blame me: A theory of politicians choosing policy advisors

Arthur Fishman, Doron Klunover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We present a model in which an imperfectly informed politician chooses between appointing an independent expert, whose advice is revealed to voters, and a loyal expert whose advice can be concealed from voters and who can therefore be blamed for a bad outcome. The politician is privately informed about which expert is more competent while Bayesian voters update beliefs about the expert's competence based on which expert is chosen and the outcome of the policy chosen by the politician. Voters are distributed such that some are biased toward a certain policy while others are not. We show that, under a majority voting rule, in equilibrium, the politician is unable to increase his chances of reelection by choosing the loyal expert and trying to shift the blame for a bad outcome on him.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100076
JournalJournal of Government and Economics
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Delegation
  • Experts
  • Political appointments


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