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The impact of political leaders’ profession and education on reforms

This paper analyzes whether the educational and professional background of a head of government matters for the implementation of market-liberalizing reforms. Employing panel data over the period 1970-2002, we present empirical evidence based on a novel data set covering profession and education of more than 500 political leaders from 73 countries. Our results show that entrepreneurs, professional scientists, and trained economists are significantly more reform oriented. Contrary, union executives tend to impede reforms. We also highlight interactions between profession and education with time in office and the political leaning of the ruling party.

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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 06-147.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:06-147
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