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Affiliate Guo Xu and co-authors Research Civil Servants in India | VoxDev

Institutions & Governance News
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Should civil servants be allowed to serve in their home areas? CEGA faculty affiliate Guo Xu and co-authors find evidence from India:

Assigning civil servants to environments to which they are most socially proximate may actually limit their ability to effectively serve the nation

State capacity is a key determinant of development and growth (Besley and Persson 2009). Bureaucrats form an essential part of state capacity (Finan et al. 2015). They are responsible for raising taxes, providing public services, and implementing policies. How the personnel of the state perform is thus likely to have important implications for state effectiveness and economic performance (Evans and Rauch 2000). 

A longstanding challenge in governance is to ensure that bureaucrats are indeed serving the state, and do not abuse their public office for private gain. Throughout history there has been a shift from local rulers governing through kins, personal trustees, and court-servants to permanent professional civil services running nation states.  A central objective of such bureaucracies was to devise systems and rules that reduced the patronage and corruption that had plagued earlier systems of government (Xu 2018).

Read more: Should civil servants be allowed to serve in their home areas? Evidence from India | VoxDev

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