What Price the Court of St. James? Political Influences on Ambassadorial Postings of the United States of America
This paper explores the appointment of career diplomats and political appointments to ambassadorial positions, across a range of characteristics that serve to indicate the attractiveness of the posting. The results of the paper suggest that political appointees are more likely to become ambassadors in high income OECD countries, that are strong tourist destinations, are located in Western Europe, and that carry lower hardship allowances, than are career diplomats. We also show that the greater the personal or bundled campaign contributions to a presidential campaign, the more lucrative the posting the contributor can expect in terms of per capita GDP, tourist volumes, hardship allowances, and the more likely the posting will be in Western Europe, and the less likely it will be in Central and South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, we identify a range of prices for personal and bundled campaign contributors for a set of lucrative posts. Depending on circumstance, we establish that the price range for the Court of St. James lies between $650,000 and $2.3 million.
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