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The Impact of Political Leaders' Profession and Education on Reforms

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Listed:
  • Axel Dreher
  • Michael J. Lamla
  • Sarah M. Rupprecht
  • Frank Somogyi

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Dreher & Michael J. Lamla & Sarah M. Rupprecht & Frank Somogyi, 2006. "The Impact of Political Leaders' Profession and Education on Reforms," KOF Working papers 06-147, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:06-147
    DOI: 10.3929/ethz-a-005277685
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reforms; Economic Policy; Economic Freedom; Interest Groups; Lobbying;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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