Best book award in comparative public policy

July 16, 2014
Christopher Adolph
Christopher Adolph, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Washington.

Awardee | Christopher Adolph (Ph.D. '05)  

Christopher Adolph has won the 2014 Charles Levine Memorial Prize for best book in comparative public policy and administration for Bankers, Bureaucrats, and Central Bank Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

The International Political Science Association awards the prize annually to a book that "makes a contribution of considerable theoretical or practical significance in the field of public policy and administration."

In the words of the prize committee: “This interesting and innovative book raises important questions about the assumed all-importance of central bank independence and provides a fascinating insight into the ways the professional background of key officials shapes monetary policy.

Bankers, Bureaucrats, and Central Bank Politics"As the book demonstrates, revolving door problems also apply in central banks: where those in charge of these institutions come from creates biases in decision-making in predictable ways. Central bank heads seek to please potential future employers in private banking or government, and these ‘shadow principals’ have a significant impact on the direction central bank decisions take.

“The book is meticulously researched, drawing on large amounts of new comparative data and using sophisticated methodological tools. 

"In terms of theory, the book makes an important contribution by systematically investigating the impact of career incentives and challenging common assumptions of principal-agent models by demonstrating that bureaucrats (agents) respond to inducements from outside formal chains of authority, and sometimes from principals of their own choosing."

Adolph earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard in 2005. He is now Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington, Seattle. 

Learn more about this book

Bankers, Bureaucrats, and Central Bank Politics 
The Myth of Neutrality.
Cambridge University Press, 2013.

By Christopher Adolph

See also: Alumni, Awards