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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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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC San Diego in its series University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt0sb0w38d.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt0sb0w38d
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  1. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  2. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  3. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  9. James E. Rauch, 1994. "Bureaucracy, Infrastructure, and Economic Growth: Evidence from U.S. Cities During the Progressive Era," NBER Working Papers 4973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Feder, Gershon, 1983. "On exports and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-2), pages 59-73.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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