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The Merit of Meritocratization: Politics, Bureaucracy, and the Institutional Deterrents of Corruption

Journal article
Authors Carl Dahlström
Victor Lapuente
Jan Teorell
Published in Political Research Quarterly
Volume 65
Issue 3
Pages 656-668
ISSN 1065-9129
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 656-668
Language en
Keywords Corruption; Bureaucracy; Meritocratic recruitment; Public administration
Subject categories Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


Comparative studies of corruption focus on the selection and incentives of policymakers. With few exceptions, actors who are in charge of implementing policies have been neglected. This article analyzes an original data set on the bureaucratic features and its effects on corruption in fifty-two countries. Two empirical findings challenge the conventional wisdom in literature. First, certain bureaucratic factors, particularly meritocratic recruitment, reduce corruption, even when controlling for a large set of alternative explanations. Second, the analysis shows that other allegedly relevant bureaucratic factors, such as public employees’ competitive salaries, career stability, or internal promotion, do not have a significant impact.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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