A common feature of contemporary political systems is the increasing amount of delegation from governments to non-majoritarian institutions. Governments may decide to delegate authority to such institutions for reasons relating to credible commitments, political uncertainty and policy complexity. This article focuses on Independent Administrative Authorities (Autorités administratives indépendantes) in France. We demonstrate that these institutions enjoy varying degrees of independence. We find that the degree of independence varies as a function of two factors: the need to make a credible commitment in areas subject to market opening and the complexity of policy in particular areas.
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