Selection of Public Servants into Politics (2015)

Countries differ substantially in how they deal with politicians that come from the publicsector. Most constitutions include incompatibility and ineligibility rules due to concerns about conflicts of interest and the politicization of the public service. We study how these rules affect the attractiveness of parliamentary mandates for public servants and thus the selection into politics. We compile a novel dataset that captures the fraction of public servants in 76 national legislatures as well as the respective (in)compatibility regimes. On average, there are seven percentage points fewer public servants in parliaments where a strict regime is in force. Supplementary evidence based on IV estimations shows that the fraction of public servants in parliament is positively correlated with government consumption, but not correlated with government effectiveness.

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Braendle Thomas, Stutzer Alois