The political dynamics of bureaucratic turnover: Evidence from Norwegian municipalities
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- Master of Science 
An emerging literature shows that bureaucrats in countries with strong meritocratic traditions are exceedingly influenced by political factors. Agentprincipal theories predicts that if bureaucrats have policy preferences they should optimally self-select to work under councils with aligned preferences. Following elections, the council composition changes and the bureaucrat and council relationships become less congruent. Bureaucrats value their employment less and are more likely to resign or be replaced by the newly elected council. This hypothesis is tested on the turnover of the top bureaucrat in municipal Norway using yearly panel data of 414 municipalities in the period 1991-2016. The models of choice are linear probability models allowing for both fixed effects and extensive controls. Within the first year after municipal elections there are significantly higher turnover rates. Using changes of which party elect mayor as the regressor yield even stronger effects. Additional analyses uncover threshold effect, and bureaucrats in larger municipalities have much higher risk of replacement. The general conclusion is that although there is significant evidence of increased turnover following changes of mayor, there is uncertainty how much can attributed to policy differences.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Economics - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2018