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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: Vol. 6 No. 2 (May 2014)

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

Article Citation

Ujhelyi, Gergely. 2014. "Civil Service Rules and Policy Choices: Evidence from US State Governments." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 6(2): 338-80.

DOI: 10.1257/pol.6.2.338

Abstract

This paper studies the policy impact of civil service regulations, exploiting reforms undertaken by US state governments throughout the twentieth 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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Authors

Ujhelyi, Gergely (U Houston)

JEL Classifications

D73: Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
H72: State and Local Budget and Expenditures
H77: Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism; Secession
H79: State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations: Other

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