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Individual and Collective Performance and the Tenureof British Ministers 1945-1997

Listed author(s):
  • Samuel Berlinski
  • Torun Dewan
  • Keith Dowding

We study the effects of individual and collective ministerial performance on the length oftime a minister serves in British government from 1945-97, using the number ofresignation calls for a minister as an individual performance indicator and the cumulativenumber of such calls as an indicator of government performance. Our analysis lendssupport to a 'two-strike rule': ministers facing a second call for their resignation have asignificantly higher hazard than those facing their first, irrespective of the performance ofthe government. A minister's hazard rate is decreasing in the cumulative number ofresignation calls; but conditional on receiving a first resignation call, the hazard rateincreases with the number of calls that all government ministers have faced in the past.Our message is that collective ministerial performance is a key determinant of whether aminister survives his first resignation call.

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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series with number 25.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
Handle: RePEc:cep:stipep:25
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  1. Scott Ashworth, 2005. "Reputational Dynamics and Political Careers," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 441-466, October.
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