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Socio-demographic characteristics and human capital of the German federal government's members


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  • Scharfenkamp, Katrin
  • Dilger, Alexander


Currently, background, qualification and training of German top politicians are widely discussed by scholars and media. This paper provides new insights to this discussion by analysing significant differences between the chancellors, vice chancellors as well as ministers of the inner residual cabinets of the German federal governments between 1949 and 2009 with respect to their socio-demographic backgrounds and educational, economic and political human capital. Applications of different statistical methods reveal that the ministers of the inner cabinet habe the most advantageous social background and the best education. Vice chancellors score highest with regard to their economic human capital, measured here by board seats before their current offices. The average tenure in the federal government as well as the expertise in the actual headed department is highest for chancellors. -- Aktuell werden die Herkunft, Qualifikation und Bildung deutscher Spitzenpolitiker rege von Wissenschaftlern und Medien diskutiert. Dieses Papier trägt zu dieser Diskussion bei, indem signifikante Unterschiede hinsichtlich soziodemographischer Eigenschaften und (hoch)schulischen, ökonomischen sowie politischen Humankapitals zwischen den Gruppen Kanzler, Vizekanzler und Ministern des inneren und äußeren Kabinetts für alle Kabinette von 1949 bis einschließlich 2009 analysiert werden. Die Anwendung verschiedener statistischer Methoden zeigt, dass die Minister des inneren Kabinetts über den vorteilhaftesten sozialen Hintergrund und die beste Bildung verfügen. Vizekanzler erreichen den höchsten Grad an ökonomischem Humankapital, gemessen in Vorstands- und Aufsichtsratsmandaten vor dem betreffenden Regierungsamt. Die durchschnittliche Amtszeit in der Bundesregierung und im derzeitigen Amt ist bei Bundeskanzlern am längsten.

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Paper provided by University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics in its series Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics with number 2/2012.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:umiodp:22012

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  1. repec:vep:journl:y:2011:i:1:p:2-3 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. L. Sleuwaegen, 2011. "Introduction," Review of Business and Economic Literature, Intersentia, vol. 56(2), pages 106-110, June.
  3. repec:sen:rebelj:v:lvi:y:2011:i:2:p:106-110 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. H. Dewachter & R. Houssa & P.R. Kaltwasser, 2011. "Introduction," Review of Business and Economic Literature, Intersentia, vol. 56(4), pages 378-382, December.
  5. repec:sen:rebelj:v:lvi:y:2011:i:4:p:378-382 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Scharfenkamp, Katrin, 2013. "Composition effects of the German Federal Government on the average top income tax burden," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 2/2013, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
  2. Scharfenkamp, Katrin, 2013. "Which qualifications does a minister of the German Federal Government need to be reoccupied?," CIW Discussion Papers 2/2013, University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW).


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