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The Association Between Administrative Characteristics and National Level Innovative Activity: Findings from a Cross-National Study

Journal article
Authors Kohei Suzuki
Mehmet Akif Demircioglu
Published in Public Performance & Management Review
Volume 42
Issue 4
Pages 755-782
ISSN 1530-9576
Publication year 2019
Published at Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
Department of Political Science
Pages 755-782
Language en
Keywords bureaucracy, comparative public administration, impartial public administration, innovation, professional public administration, Weberian bureaucracy
Subject categories Public Administration Studies, Political Science


This study examines an association between two important and historical administrative characteristics of civil service systems (i.e., professional and impartial public administration) and national level innovation outputs. Scholars have examined the influence of macrolevel factors, such as the general level of human capital, culture, and social capital, on national rates of innovative activity. However, we still have limited understanding of the relationship between the administrative characteristics of government and national levels of innovative activity in a cross-national setting. This article hypothesizes that countries with highly professional and impartial public administration tend to have higher national level innovation outputs (i.e., knowledge and technology, creative outputs). From utilizing cross-national data from the Quality of Government Institute Expert Survey and Global Innovation Index from over 100 economies, findings show that national levels of innovation outputs are significantly higher in countries that have higher levels of professional and impartial public administration. The results suggest the importance of professional and impartial administration for national level innovative activity.

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