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Merit, Tenure, and Bureaucratic Behavior: Evidence From a Conjoint Experiment in the Dominican Republic

Oliveros, V; Schuster, C; (2017) Merit, Tenure, and Bureaucratic Behavior: Evidence From a Conjoint Experiment in the Dominican Republic. Comparative Political Studies 10.1177/0010414017710268. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Bureaucratic behavior in developing countries remains poorly understood. Why do some public servants – yet not others – work hard to deliver public services, misuse state resources, and/or participate in electoral mobilization? A classic answer comes from Weber: bureaucratic structures shift behavior towards integrity, neutrality, and commitment to public service. Our paper conducts the first survey experimental test of the effects of bureaucratic structures. It does so through a conjoint experiment with public servants in the Dominican Republic. Looking at merit examinations and job stability, we find that Weber was right – but only partially. Recruitment by examination curbs corruption and political services by bureaucrats, while enhancing work motivation. Job stability, by contrast, only decreases political services: tenured bureaucrats are less likely to participate in electoral mobilization. Examinations thus enhance the quality of bureaucracy (motivation and lower corruption) and democracy (electoral competition); job stability only enhances the quality of democracy.

Type: Article
Title: Merit, Tenure, and Bureaucratic Behavior: Evidence From a Conjoint Experiment in the Dominican Republic
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0010414017710268
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1177/0010414017710268
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Bureaucracy; Merit; Patronage; Tenure; Conjoint Experiment; Weber
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1566859
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