Koichi Kawai (Kanazawa University)
The independence of administrative agencies to elected officials is a central question in democratic governance. A key source of variation in independence is agency structure. This article tests a hypothesis in the study of the institutional design of administrative agencies. Political explanations consider the degree of institutional design of administrative agencies as a function of political factors, such as the degree of policy conflict and political uncertainty. In this article, we test this hypothesis on a data set of about 100 administrative agencies of central government that were created between 1945 and 2016 in Japan. This article uses statistical analysis to explore what makes an administrative agency independence.
We find strong support for political explanations. Our findings suggest that political factors play role in the institutional design of administrative agencies within parliamentary regimes. We illustrate how political influence affects agency structure.
This article is organized as follows. After introduction, we will describe the recent studies on administrative agency design. Next, we will explain our research method and data. Then we will show our research findings. Finally, this article will close by pointing out the implication of our analysis.