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Civil Service Rules and Policy Choices: Evidence from US State Governments

  • Gergely Ujhelyi

    ()

    (University of Houston)

This paper studies the policy impact of civil service regulations, exploiting reforms undertaken by US state governments throughout the 20th century. These reforms replaced political patronage with a civil service recruited based on merit and protected from politics. I find that state politicians respond to these changes by spending relatively less through the reformed state-level bureaucracies. Instead, they allocate more funds to lower level governments. The reallocation of expenditures leads to reduced long-term investment by state governments.

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File URL: http://www.uh.edu/econpapers/RePEc/hou/wpaper/201303249.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Houston in its series Working Papers with number 201303249.

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Date of creation: 30 Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:201303249
Contact details of provider: Postal: Houston TX 77023
Web page: http://www.uh.edu/class/economics/

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  1. Ujhelyi, Gergely, 2014. "Civil service reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 15-25.
  2. Tim Besley, 2002. "Political institutions and policy choices: evidence from the United States," IFS Working Papers W02/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. 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.
  4. Stephen Coate & Brian Knight, 2009. "Government Form and Public Spending: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Municipalities," NBER Working Papers 14857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Terry M. Moe, 2006. "Political Control and the Power of the Agent," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-29, April.
  6. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1994. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," NBER Working Papers 4956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Craig, Steven G & Inman, Robert P, 1982. "Federal Aid and Public Education: An Empirical Look at the New Fiscal Federalism," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 541-52, November.
  8. Rauch, James E. & Evans, Peter B., 2000. "Bureaucratic structure and bureaucratic performance in less developed countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 49-71, January.
  9. Oriana Bandiera & Andrea Prat & Tommaso Valletti, 2009. "Active and Passive Waste in Government Spending: Evidence from a Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1278-1308, September.
  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. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 2008. "Bureaucrats or politicians? Part II: Multiple policy tasks," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 426-447, April.
  12. 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, August.
  13. 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.
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