IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/amposc/v54y2010i2p267-286.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Declining Talent Pool of Government

Author

Listed:
  • Torun Dewan
  • David P. Myatt

Abstract

We consider a government for which success requires high performance by talented ministers. A leader provides incentives to her ministers by firing those who fail. However, the consequent turnover drains a finite talent pool of potential appointees. The severity of the optimal firing rule and ministerial performances decline over time: the lifetime of an effective government is limited. We relate this lifetime to various factors, including external shocks, the replenishment of the talent pool, and the leader's reputation. Some results are surprising: an increase in the stability of government and the exogenous imposition of stricter performance standards can both shorten the era of effective government, and an increase in the replenishment of the talent pool can reduce incumbent ministers' performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Torun Dewan & David P. Myatt, 2010. "The Declining Talent Pool of Government," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(2), pages 267-286, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:amposc:v:54:y:2010:i:2:p:267-286
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2010.00430.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5907.2010.00430.x
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2008. "Political careers or career politicians?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 597-608, April.
    2. Dewan, Torun & Myatt, David P., 2007. "Scandal, Protection, and Recovery in the Cabinet," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 63-77, February.
    3. Indridason, Indridi H. & Kam, Christopher, 2008. "Cabinet Reshuffles and Ministerial Drift," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(4), pages 621-656, October.
    4. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    5. Lanny W. Martin & Georg Vanberg, 2004. "Policing the Bargain: Coalition Government and Parliamentary Scrutiny," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(1), pages 13-27, January.
    6. Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2004. "Paying politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2423-2445, December.
      • Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    7. Warwick, Paul, 1992. "Economic Trends and Government Survival in West European Parliamentary Democracies," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 86(4), pages 875-887, December.
    8. Huber, John D. & Martinez-Gallardo, Cecilia, 2008. "Replacing Cabinet Ministers: Patterns of Ministerial Stability in Parliamentary Democracies," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 169-180, May.
    9. Diermeier, Daniel & Stevenson, Randolph T., 2000. "Cabinet Terminations and Critical Events," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 94(3), pages 627-640, September.
    10. Lupia, Arthur & Strøm, Kaare, 1995. "Coalition Termination and the Strategic Timing of Parliamentary Elections," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 89(3), pages 648-665, September.
    11. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    12. Sean Gailmard & John W. Patty, 2007. "Slackers and Zealots: Civil Service, Policy Discretion, and Bureaucratic Expertise," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 51(4), pages 873-889, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:amposc:v:54:y:2010:i:2:p:267-286. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: https://doi.org/10.1111/(ISSN)1540-5907 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.