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Paths to higher office: evidence from the Swedish Civil Service

  • Brösamle, Klaus J


    (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany)

  • Nordström Skans, Oskar


    (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)

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 ocial. We also show that the positive association between mobility and future success is smaller for more educated workers, which is consistent with signalling effects driving the link between mobility and career success.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies with number 2011:17.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 26 Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uulswp:2011_017
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page:

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  1. Dominique Demougin & Aloysius Siow, 1992. "Careers in Ongoing Hierarchies," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 5, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Belzil, Christian & Bognanno, Michael L., 2004. "The Promotion Dynamics of American Executives," IZA Discussion Papers 1003, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. DeVaro, Jed & Waldman, Michael, 2006. "The signaling role of promotions: Further theory and empirical evidence," MPRA Paper 1550, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Michael Waldman, 1984. "Job Assignments, Signalling, and Efficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 255-267, Summer.
  7. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:4:p:1321-1358 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Catherine HAECK & Frank VERBOVEN, 2010. "The internal economics of a university - evidence from personnel data," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces10.18, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  9. 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, vol. 15(4), pages 647-665.
  10. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Personnel Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121883, June.
  11. 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.
  12. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:4:p:881-919 is not listed on IDEAS
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