Principal-agent theory and the structure of science policy, revisited: 'Science in policy' and the US Report on Carcinogens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper uses principal-agent theory to examine the structure of 'science in policy.' It draws from one in-depth case study of regulatory science in the USA, the production of the biennial Report on Carcinogens by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, particularly NTP's review of saccharin as a potential human carcinogen in the late 1990s. The sources of data include extensive documentary review, observation of two public meetings of an advisory committee to NTP, and confidential interviews with seven of nine members of that advisory committee. The paper elaborates on the environment that precipitated Congress's need for a reliable agent, in the creation of NTP as an intermediary to serve as that agent, in the articulation of an explicit set of terms for the performance of that contract, and in the shirking behavior that agents engaged in, despite such precautions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
JournalScience and Public Policy
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Principal-agent theory and the structure of science policy, revisited: 'Science in policy' and the US Report on Carcinogens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this