Traveling Agents: Political Change and Bureaucratic Turnover in India
57 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2008 Last revised: 18 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 17, 2009
We develop a framework to empirically examine how politicians with electoral pressures control bureaucrats with career concerns as well as the consequences for bureaucrats' career investments. Unique micro-level data on Indian bureaucrats support our key predictions. Politicians use frequent reassignments (transfers) across posts of varying importance to control bureaucrats. High-skilled bureaucrats face less frequent political transfers and lower variability in the importance of their posts. We find evidence of two alternative paths to career success: officers of higher initial ability are more likely to invest in skill, but caste affinity to the politician's party base also helps secure important positions.
Keywords: career concerns, bureaucracy, bureaucrat reassignment
JEL Classification: D73, D78, J45, H83, D23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation