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Patronage in public administration: Presidential connections, position assignments and the performance of Korean public prosecutors, 1992-2000

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  • Nowook Park

    (Korea Institute of Public Finance)

  • Rohini Somanathan

    ()
    (Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)

Abstract

Presidential elections in Korea in the eighties and nineties provide an opportunity to examine the role of political patronage in a newly formed democracy. We examine whether the bureaucratic reshuffling which accompanies presidential changes depends on the political connections of bureaucrats and whether bureaucratic reassignment is associated with changes in administrative performance. We use data on all public prosecutors in Korea between 1992-2000 and find that sharing birth and school environments with the incumbent president roughly doubled the odds of being assigned to a range of influential positions within the Public Prosecutor's Office. In the last of the three presidential regimes we consider, we also find that branch offices with high fractions of connected prosecutors performed poorly relative to other branches. Observations over multiple years allow us to control for unobservable characteristics of prosecutors and offices while estimating these effects of political patronage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India in its series Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers with number 04-02.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ind:isipdp:04-02

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  1. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  2. Simon Johnson & Todd Mitton, 2001. "Cronyism and Capital Controls: Evidence from Malaysia," NBER Working Papers 8521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Euijune Kim & Kabsung Kim, 2002. "Impacts of regional development strategies on growth and equity of Korea: A multiregional CGE model," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 165-180.
  4. Seema Jayachandran, 2004. "The Jeffords Effect," UCLA Economics Online Papers 297, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Wade, Robert, 1985. "The market for public office: Why the Indian state is not better at development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 467-497, April.
  6. Rebecca Menes, 2003. "Corruption in Cities: Graft and Politics in American Cities at the Turn of the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 9990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  8. G. S. Maddala, 1987. "Limited Dependent Variable Models Using Panel Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(3), pages 307-338.
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