Towards an Economic Approach to Imperfect Meritocracy

S. A. Drakopoulos, A. D. Karayiannis
  • Bulletin of Economic Research, April 1999, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/1467-8586.00076

An economic analysis of the typical politicians' behaviour in an imperfect meritocracy framework.

What is it about?

In this paper imperfect meritocracy is defined as the appointment in the public sector of unsuitable (in the sense of merit) individuals for political reasons. After discussing the possible causes for the emergence of imperfect meritocracy framework, the paper then sets the basis for an economic analysis of typical politicians’ behaviour in such a framework. After deriving the demand for political appointments, the analysis verified the intuitive insight that the number of political appointments falls when politicians are competent. Another main result is that the more votes an appointment carries through relatives and friends, the greater the demand for political appointments. Finally, it is shown that the demand for political appointments increases when taxation and the price index increase and that it falls when income increases.

Why is it important?

The basic purpose of this paper was to set the basis for an economic analysis of the typical politicians' behaviour in an imperfect meritocracy framework.

Perspectives

Stavros Drakopoulos
University of Athens

In this paper imperfect meritocracy is defined as the appointment in the public sector of unsuitable (in the sense of merit) individuals for political reasons. After discussing the possible causes for the emergence of imperfect meritocracy framework, the paper then sets the basis for an economic analysis of typical politicians’ behaviour in such a framework. After deriving the demand for political appointments, the analysis verified the intuitive insight that the number of political appointments falls when politicians are competent. Another main result is that the more votes an appointment carries through relatives and friends, the greater the demand for political appointments. Finally, it is shown that the demand for political appointments increases when taxation and the price index increase and that it falls when income increases.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8586.00076

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