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Bureaucratic Rents and Life Satisfaction

Simon Luechinger (), Stephan Meier () and Alois Stutzer ()

No 269, IEW - Working Papers from Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich

Abstract: The monopoly position of the public bureaucracy in providing public services allows government employees to acquire rents. Those rents can involve higher wages, monetary and non-monetary fringe benefits (e.g. pensions and staffing), and/or bribes. We propose a direct measure to capture the total of these rents: the difference in reported subjective well-being between bureaucrats and people working in the private sector. In a sample of 38 countries, we find large variations in the extent of rents in the public bureaucracy. The extent of rents is determined by differences in institutional constraints and correlates with perceptions of corruption. We find judicial independence to be of major relevance for a tamed bureaucracy.

Keywords: public sector; rents; life satisfaction; corruption; judicial independence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D73 I31 J30 J45 K42 H11 H83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe, nep-pol and nep-reg
Date: 2006-01
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Related works:
Journal Article: Bureaucratic Rents and Life Satisfaction (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Bureaucratic Rents and Life Satisfaction (2006) Downloads
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