Trends in the public sector: Why politicians prefer quasi-autonomous organizations

Sandra Van Thiel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlePopular

71 Citations (Scopus)


Since the 1980s the number of quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations has increased in most western countries. This article offers a theoretical explanation for politicians' apparent preference for quangos. The model is based on rational choice sociology, neo-institutional economics and public choice. Hypotheses are formulated on the conditions that are expected to influence politicians' choice. The statistical analysis, using a database of 124 decisions to establish 392 quangos in The Netherlands between 1950 and 1993, shows that quango proliferation is more a trend than a well-informed choice. This raises new questions for research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-201
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Theoretical Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


Dive into the research topics of 'Trends in the public sector: Why politicians prefer quasi-autonomous organizations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this