ABSTRACT: We investigate the lifespan and risk of termination of 790 arm’s length agencies in the United Kingdom over the period 1985 - 2008. We hypothesise that the risk of termination will depend on three groups of factors: factors relating to the rationales for the initial delegation of power to the arm’s length agency and the form of delegation; factors relating to the policy position of the government; and factors relating to the economy. We find that agencies which have a regulatory function (particularly an economic regulation function), and those designed to ensure probity of decision-making are less likely to be terminated in any given year. Agencies structured as executive non-departmental public bodies and non-ministerial departments are also longer-lived than others. Agencies operating under right-wing governments and under heavily indebted governments are more likely to be terminated, although left-wg governments are more sensitive to the effects of debt.
CITATION: Greasley, S. & Hanretty, C. (2012) 'Culling the Quangos: When is Delegation Revoked?', CCP Working Paper 12-12