What is public choice theory in public administration. Public choice theory can be traced from economics school of thought. It is used to applying microeconomics on political and social areas in society. Was introduced in the 1960’s, together with NPM to highlight issues of bureaucracy. It deals with institutional pluralism in the delivery of goods and services to the public.

Public choice theory Assumption

Public choice theory is based on the idea that public servants get motivated by unselfishness elected officials and technocrats. Public administrators are motivated by desire to maximize social warfare. Theory introduces competition in the public sector to make it more efficient and effective. It upholds pluralism and rationality, meaning people have capacity to think and rank best alternatives. They’re able to choose whats good for them through preferential choice.

Hence politicians and bureaucrats try to maximize there own gain. The state has its duties, therefore most activities falling on the need of service deliver, must be given out to public servants. Because public servants understand the needs of people and are able to deliver through public management. What motivates them is delivering of results to the public in form of outputs. This can be policies, programs, services and even laws that help people.

If the state has different roles it needs to play in society. All these duties and responsibilities should be given to the public sector. Better still build more infrastructure and institutions to carry out these responsibilities effectively. Public Choice theory in public Administration outlines that, pluralism but promotes equal distribution of resources.

Effects of Public choice interest

Government can become very large according to Public Choice Theory in Public Administration. A large government machinery requires a huge expenditure and the more tax burden on its citizens. Due to the introduction of competition, there is compulsion, no freedom of choice and innovation is emphasized. Large government machinery increases the power of bureaucracy. Administration becomes of more importance and threatens democratic choices of citizens.


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