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Paths to higher office: evidence from the Swedish Civil Service

  • Nordström Skans, Oskar


    (IFAU - Insitute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • J. Brösamle, Klaus


    (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany)

The paper analyzes the relationship between career path characteristics of civil servants and their career success. Following a description of the institutional setting and some qualitative evidence on typical paths to the top, we use data that follows the careers of all Swedish civil servants for up to 24 years to document a clear link between early mobility and later success. Controlling for a wide range of other factors, incidents of inter-organizational mobility within the administration, but also interchanges between the administrative and other sectors are positively associated with becoming a senior government offcial. We also show that the positive association between mobility and future success is smaller for more educated workers, which is consistent with signalling e ffects driving the link between mobility and career success.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2011:13.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 26 Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2011_013
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  1. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Personnel Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121883, December.
  2. George Baker & Michael Gibbs & Bengt Holmstrom, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919.
  3. Seltzer, Andrew & Merrett, David T, 2000. "Personnel Policies at the Union Bank of Australia: Evidence from the 1888-1900 Entry Cohorts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 573-613, October.
  4. Ariga, Kenn & Ohkusa, Yasushi & Brunello, Giorgio, 1999. "Fast track: is it in the genes? The promotion policy of a large Japanese firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 385-402, April.
  5. Michael Waldman, 1983. "Job Assignments, Signalling nad Efficiency," UCLA Economics Working Papers 286, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Edward Lazear & Paul Oyer, 2004. "The Structure of Wages and Internal Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 212-216, May.
  7. Demougin, Dominique & Siow, Aloysius, 1994. "Careers in Ongoing Hierarchies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1261-77, December.
  8. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1999. "A Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1321-1358.
  9. Catherine Haeck & Frank Verboven, 2012. "The Internal Economics of a University: Evidence from Personnel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(3), pages 591 - 626.
  10. DeVaro, Jed & Waldman, Michael, 2006. "The signaling role of promotions: Further theory and empirical evidence," MPRA Paper 1550, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Belzil, Christian & Bognanno, Michael L., 2004. "The Promotion Dynamics of American Executives," IZA Discussion Papers 1003, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Edward P. Lazear & Paul Oyer, 2012. "Personnel Economics," Introductory Chapters, in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics Princeton University Press.
  13. Gerard J. van den Berg & Anders Holm & Jan C. van Ours, 2002. "Do stepping-stone jobs exist? Early career paths in the medical profession," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 647-665.
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