Bureaucratic Structure and Bureaucratic Performance in Less Developed Countries
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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