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Bureaucrat Allocation in the Public Sector: Evidence from the World Bank

Nicola Limodio

No 655, Working Papers from IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University

Abstract: The allocation of bureaucrats across tasks constitutes a pivotal instrument for achieving an organization's objectives. In this paper, I measure the performance of World Bank bureaucrats by combining the universe of task assignment with an evaluation of task outcome and a hand-collected dataset of bureaucrat CVs. I introduce two novel stylized facts. First, bureaucrat performance correlates with task features and individual characteristics. Second, there exists a negative assortative matching between high-performing bureaucrats and low-performing countries. In the aftermath of natural disasters, which may weaken countries' performance even further, I observe that low-performing countries receive an additional allocation of high-performing bureaucrats. I discuss various interpretations of these findings.Keywords: Personnel Management, Public Sector, International Organizations JEL Codes: M54, J45, O19

Date: 2019
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