Social Proximity and Bureaucrat Performance: Evidence from India

65 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2019 Last revised: 11 Mar 2019

See all articles by Marianne Bertrand

Marianne Bertrand

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Robin Burgess

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Guo Xu

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

Using exogenous variation in social proximity generated by an allocation rule, we find that bureaucrats assigned to their home states are perceived to be more corrupt and less able to withstand illegitimate political pressure. Despite this, we observe that home officers are more likely to be promoted in the later stages of their careers. To understand this dissonance between performance and promotion we show that incoming Chief Ministers preferentially promote home officers that come from the same home district. Taken together, our results suggest that social proximity hampers bureaucrat performance by facilitating political capture and corruption.

Keywords: bureaucrat performance, performance and promotion, political economy, Social proximity

JEL Classification: D73, H11, O10

Suggested Citation

Bertrand, Marianne and Burgess, Robin and Xu, Guo, Social Proximity and Bureaucrat Performance: Evidence from India (March 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13562, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3346353

Marianne Bertrand (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://gsbwww.uchicago.edu/fac/marianne.bertrand/vita/cv_0604.pdf

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Robin Burgess

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://econ.lse.ac.uk/staff/rburgess/index_own.html

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Guo Xu

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

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Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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