Slackers and Zealots: Civil Service, Policy Discretion, and Bureaucratic Capacity
In this paper we investigate how “civil service” personnel management interacts with bureaucratic discretion to create high capacity, expert bureaucracies populated by policy-motivated agents. We build a model in which bureaucrats may invest in (relationship specific) policy expertise, and may be either policy-motivated or policy-indifferent. We show that under specific conditions on the nature of expertise and bureaucratic discretion over policy choices, merit system protections for job tenure encourage the development of expertise and problem solving capacity in the bureaucracy. In addition, we identify conditions under which typical civil service rules encourage policy-motivated bureaucrats to enter and remain in public service, and policy- indifferent bureaucrats to leave it.
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- McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-277, Fall.
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