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Reforming the public administration: The role of crisis and the power of bureaucracy

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  • Asatryan, Zareh
  • Heinemann, Friedrich
  • Pitlik, Hans

Abstract

The need to balance austerity with growth policies has put government efficiency high on the economic policy agenda in Europe. Administrative reforms that boost the internal efficiency of bureaucracy can alleviate the trade-off between consolidation and public service provision. Against such a backdrop, this paper constructs (and makes available) a novel reform indicator to explore the determinants of public administration reforms for a panel of EU countries. The findings support political-economic reasoning: An economic and fiscal crisis is a potent catalyst for reforms, but a powerful bureaucracy constrains the opportunities of a crisis to promote reform. Furthermore, there is some suggestive evidence for horizontal learning from other EU countries, and for vertical learning associated with a particular type of EU cohesion spending.

Suggested Citation

  • Asatryan, Zareh & Heinemann, Friedrich & Pitlik, Hans, 2017. "Reforming the public administration: The role of crisis and the power of bureaucracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 128-143.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:128-143
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2016.08.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Asatryan, Zareh & Heinemann, Friedrich & Pitlik, Hans, 2017. "Reforming the public administration: The role of crisis and the power of bureaucracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 128-143.
    2. repec:nos:vgmu00:2018:i:5:p:96-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:scn:vgmu00:2018:i:5:p:96-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Asatryan, Zareh & Heinemann, Friedrich & Yeter, Mustafa & Rubio, Eulalia & Rinaldi, David & Zuleeg, Fabian, 2016. "Public sector reform: How the EU budget is used to encourage it. Study," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 147039.
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1432-:d:108228 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Asatryan, Zareh & Foremny, Dirk & Heinemann, Friedrich & Solé-Ollé, Albert & Stratmann, Thomas & Yeter, Mustafa, 2015. "Better fiscal rules for Europe: Reflections based on new empirical evidence," ZEW policy briefs 4/2015, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. Hans Pitlik, 2017. "Austria 2025 – Public Administration Reform Between the Quest for Efficiency and Resistance to Change. A Survey," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 90(3), pages 205-217, March.
    8. Zareh Asatryan & Xavier Debrun & Annika Havlik & Friedrich Heinemann & Martin G. Kocher & Roberto Tamborini, 2018. "Which Role for a European Minister of Economy and Finance in a European Fiscal Union?," EconPol Policy Reports 6, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Euro-crisis; Public sector efficiency; Cohesion policy; Theory of bureaucracy;

    JEL classification:

    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption

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