Delegation dilemmas: coalition size, electoral risk, and regulatory governance in new democracies

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This article addresses the determinants of regulatory agency design in multiparty-coalition governments. Previous research has mainly focused on U.S. institutions, producing context-specific findings. We found electoral uncertainty, government turnover, and coalition size to be key factors explaining the bureaucratic autonomy of 31 state regulatory agencies recently created at the subnational level in Brazil. The legislative support that chief executives enjoy only acquires explanatory power when it is interacted with government turnover. Because Brazilian governors have great ability to build oversized majority coalitions, coalition strength influences the governor's strategy when the governor faces credible threats from rival elite groups.

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