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Traveling Agents: Political Change and Bureaucratic Turnover in India

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Author Info

  • Lakshmi Iyer

    (Harvard Business School)

  • Anandi Mani

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

We develop a framework to empirically examine how politicians with electoral pressures control bureaucrats with career concerns and the consequent implications for bureaucrats' career investments. Unique microlevel data on Indian bureaucrats support our key predictions. Politicians use frequent reassignments (transfers) across posts of varying importance to control bureaucrats. High-skilled bureaucrats face less frequent political transfers and lower variability in the importance of their posts. We find evidence of two alternative paths to career success: officers of higher initial ability are more likely to invest in skill, but caste affinity to the politician's party base also helps secure important positions. © 2012 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 723-739

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:3:p:723-739

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535

Related research

Keywords: career concerns; bureaucracy; bureaucrat reassignment;

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Cited by:
  1. Gergely Ujhelyi, 2014. "Civil Service Rules and Policy Choices: Evidence from US State Governments," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 338-80, May.
  2. Claire Lim, 2009. "Turnover and Accountability of Appointed and Elected Judges," 2009 Meeting Papers 190, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Ernesto Calvo & Gergely Ujhelyi, 2012. "Political Screening: Theory and Evidence from the Argentine Public Sector," Working Papers 201303201, Department of Economics, University of Houston.

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