Bureaucrats in Developing Countries
Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Corrupt Bureaucrats: The Response of Non-Elected Officials to Electoral Accountability
AbstractModern state bureaucracies are designed to be insulated from political interference. Successful insulation implies that politicians' electoral incentives do not affect bureaucrats' corruption. I test this prediction by assembling a unique dataset on corruption, promotions and demotions for more than 4 million Indonesian local civil servants. To identify the effect of reelection incentives, I exploit the existence of term limits and a difference-in-difference strategy. I find that, in districts where politicians can run for reelection, bureaucrats' corruption is 38 percent lower than in districts where they cannot, and that the effect is driven by both top and lower level bureaucrats, which constitutes new evidence of the deep, far-reaching effects of politicians' accountability on local civil servants. Robustness tests, including placebo estimates, the control for politicians' ability and restricting the sample to close elections, support the main findings. I then explore a mechanism where bureaucrats have career concerns and politicians facing reelection manipulate such concerns by increasing the turnover of top bureaucrats. Consistent with this mechanism, I find that reelection incentives increase demotions of top bureaucrats and promotions of administrative bureaucrats.
Monitoring Public Employees in Paraguay: Can Technology Adoption by the Government Improve Agricultural Extension Services for Poor Farmers?
The Costs of Patronage: Evidence From the British Empire
AbstractI study how patronage affects the promotion and performance of senior bureaucrats within
a global organization: the British Empire. I combine newly digitized personnel and public
finance data from the colonial administration 1854-1966 to study the inner workings of a
bureaucracy that controlled close to a fifth of the earth’s land mass at its peak. Exploiting
the ministerial turnover in London as a source of within-governor variation in social connections,
I find that governors are more likely to be promoted to higher salaried colonies when
connected to their superior during the period of patronage. At the same time, they provide
more tax exemptions, generate less revenue, invest less and are less likely to be recognized for
their service. The promotion and performance gaps disappear after the abolition of patronage
appointments. Exploiting a fixed allocation rule to predict the appointment of connected
governors unrelated to colony characteristics, colonies administered for longer periods by connected
governors during the period of patronage exhibit lower fiscal capacity today. Exposure
to connected governors after the removal of patronage has no long-run impact.
- A1 - General Economics