DP13878 Divided Government, Delegation, and Civil Service Reform

Author(s): Elliott Ash, Massimo Morelli, Matia Vannoni
Publication Date: July 2019
Date Revised: July 2019
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Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13878

This paper sheds new light on the drivers of civil service reform in U.S. states. We first demonstrate theoretically that divided government is a key trigger of civil service reform, providing nuanced predictions for specific configurations of divided government. We then show empirical evidence for these predictions using data from the second half of the 20th century: states tended to introduce these reforms under divided government, and in particular when legislative chambers (rather than legislature and governor) were divided.