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Bureaucratic structure and bureaucratic performance in less developed countries

  • Rauch, James E.
  • Evans, Peter B.

Recent cross-country empirical analysis has found that privately produced ratings of the performance of the central government bureaucracy in areas such as corruption and red tape are significant predictors of economic performance. We argue that several relatively simple, easily identifiable structural features constitute the key ingredients of effective state bureaucracies and should help to predict these ratings: competitive salaries, internal promotion and career stability, and meritocratic recruitment. We collect a new data set on these features for bureaucracies of 35 less developed countries. Controlling for country income, level of education, and ethnolinguistic diversity, we find that our measures of bureaucratic structure are statistically significant determinants of ratings supplied by two of three country risk agencies. Meritocratic recruitment is the most important structural feature for improving bureaucratic performance, followed by internal promotion and career stability. The importance of competitive salaries could not be clearly established

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 75 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 49-71

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:75:y:2000:i:1:p:49-71
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Rauch, James E, 1995. "Bureaucracy, Infrastructure, and Economic Growth: Evidence from U.S. Cities during the Progressive Era," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 968-79, September.
  2. Esfahani, Hadi Salehi, 1991. "Exports, imports, and economic growth in semi-industrialized countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 93-116, January.
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  8. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  10. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  11. Bale, Malcolm & Dale, Tony, 1998. "Public Sector Reform in New Zealand and Its Relevance to Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 103-21, February.
  12. Francisco Durand & Rosemary Thorp, 1998. "Reforming the state: A study of the peruvian tax reform," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2), pages 133-151.
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