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The Ambiguous Effects of Democracy on Bureaucratic Quality

Cornell, Agnes LU and Andersen, David (2018) In STANCE Working Papers Series 2018(3). p.1-47
Abstract (Swedish)
Recent studies find that higher degrees of democracy are related to higher levels of bureaucratic quality. However, they only offer limited explanations for this pattern based on a unidimensional understanding of democracy. We argue that future uncertainties as perceived by the incumbent, the opposition, and voters are important for why bureaucratic reform takes place. Therefore, we expect no uniform effects of democracy but that the effect depends on the socioeconomic status of the median voter. Empirically, we examine the separate effects of three dimensions of democracy – competitive elections, legislative constraints on the executive, and suffrage. Based on a global sample of countries from 1790 to 2016 that adds historical depth and... (More)
Recent studies find that higher degrees of democracy are related to higher levels of bureaucratic quality. However, they only offer limited explanations for this pattern based on a unidimensional understanding of democracy. We argue that future uncertainties as perceived by the incumbent, the opposition, and voters are important for why bureaucratic reform takes place. Therefore, we expect no uniform effects of democracy but that the effect depends on the socioeconomic status of the median voter. Empirically, we examine the separate effects of three dimensions of democracy – competitive elections, legislative constraints on the executive, and suffrage. Based on a global sample of countries from 1790 to 2016 that adds historical depth and variation on bureaucratic quality and the dimensions of democracy, the results show that competitive elections and legislative constraints are connected with higher levels of bureaucratic quality. However, the third dimension of suffrage is not related to bureaucratic quality. Rather, the positive effects of competitive elections and legislative constraints seem to decrease in times of large suffrage extensions. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Democracy, bureaucarcy, Bureaucratic quality
in
STANCE Working Papers Series
volume
2018
issue
3
pages
47 pages
publisher
Lund University
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c1b7e302-79e3-4f17-baa1-62aa88777463
date added to LUP
2018-06-12 10:04:52
date last changed
2018-06-12 13:24:48
@misc{c1b7e302-79e3-4f17-baa1-62aa88777463,
  abstract     = {Recent studies find that higher degrees of democracy are related to higher levels of bureaucratic quality. However, they only offer limited explanations for this pattern based on a unidimensional understanding of democracy. We argue that future uncertainties as perceived by the incumbent, the opposition, and voters are important for why bureaucratic reform takes place. Therefore, we expect no uniform effects of democracy but that the effect depends on the socioeconomic status of the median voter. Empirically, we examine the separate effects of three dimensions of democracy – competitive elections, legislative constraints on the executive, and suffrage. Based on a global sample of countries from 1790 to 2016 that adds historical depth and variation on bureaucratic quality and the dimensions of democracy, the results show that competitive elections and legislative constraints are connected with higher levels of bureaucratic quality. However, the third dimension of suffrage is not related to bureaucratic quality. Rather, the positive effects of competitive elections and legislative constraints seem to decrease in times of large suffrage extensions.},
  author       = {Cornell, Agnes and Andersen, David},
  keyword      = {Democracy,bureaucarcy,Bureaucratic quality},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {1--47},
  publisher    = {Lund University},
  series       = {STANCE Working Papers Series},
  title        = {The Ambiguous Effects of Democracy on Bureaucratic Quality},
  volume       = {2018},
  year         = {2018},
}