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Civil Service Reform

  • Gergely Ujhelyi

    ()

    (University of Houston)

Civil service rules governing the selection and motivation of bureaucrats are among the defining institutions of modern democracies. Although this is an active area of reform in the US and elsewhere, economic analyses of the issue are virtually nonexistent. This paper provides the first welfare evaluation of civil service reform. It describes the effect of reform on the interaction of politicians, voters, and bureaucrats, and shows that society often faces trade-offs between improving the bureaucracy or improving the performance of politicians. My results characterize the conditions under which merit-based recruitment and civil service protections such as tenure can improve welfare.

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File URL: http://www.uh.edu/econpapers/RePEc/hou/wpaper/201303216.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Houston in its series Working Papers with number 201303216.

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Date of creation: 26 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:201303216
Contact details of provider: Postal: Houston TX 77023
Web page: http://www.uh.edu/class/economics/

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 169-179, March.
  2. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  3. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 769-98, August.
  4. 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.
  5. Canice Prendergast, 2007. "The Motivation and Bias of Bureaucrats," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 180-196, March.
  6. Ernesto Calvo & Gergely Ujhelyi, 2012. "Political Screening: Theory and Evidence from the Argentine Public Sector," Working Papers 201303201, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  7. Stephen Coate & Brian Knight, 2011. "Government Form and Public Spending: Theory and Evidence from US Municipalities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 82-112, August.
  8. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Economics Working Papers 0020, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  9. Michael Smart & Daniel Sturm, 2004. "Term limits and electoral accountability," Economic History Working Papers 20283, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  10. F. Andrew Hanssen, 2004. "Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 712-729, June.
  11. Blanes i Vidal, Jordi & Leaver, Clare, 2011. "Are tenured judges insulated from political pressure?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 570-586, August.
  12. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  13. Blanes i Vidal, Jordi & Leaver, Clare, 2011. "Are tenured judges insulated from political pressure?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 570-586.
  14. Ronald N. Johnson & Gary D. Libecap, 1994. "The Federal Civil Service System and The Problem of Bureaucracy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number john94-1.
  15. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  16. Besley, Timothy & McLaren, John, 1993. "Taxes and Bribery: The Role of Wage Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 119-41, January.
  17. Michael M Ting & James M Snyder Jr & Shigeo Hirano & Olle Folke, 2013. "Elections and reform: The adoption of civil service systems in the U.S. states," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 25(3), pages 363-387, July.
  18. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
  19. Gergely Ujhelyi, 2013. "Civil Service Rules and Policy Choices: Evidence from US State Governments," Working Papers 201303249, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  20. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  21. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
  22. Johnson, Ronald N. & Libecap, Gary D., 1994. "The Federal Civil Service System and the Problem of Bureaucracy," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226401713, May.
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