Presidential Approval and Technocratic Survival

17 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2012 Last revised: 7 Sep 2012

See all articles by Marcelo Camerlo

Marcelo Camerlo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Anibal Pérez-Liñán

University of Pittsburgh

Date Written: 2012


This paper examines the impact of presidential approval and individual expertise on minister turnover. Our hypothesis suggest that, in order to prioritize policy performance and cabinet loyalty, presidents may protect technocrats and remove competing politicians, conditional on approval rates and external pressures. We propose an operational definition of technocrats that relies on gradual levels of (i) technical expertise, (ii) political affiliation, and (iii) the political career of individual ministers. We test the predictions using competing risk survival analysis with an original dataset for all Argentine ministers from the transition to democracy (1983) to 2011. Consistent with our expectations, the findings indicate that popular presidents are likely to protect their technocratic ministers, firing those with party affiliations or political career and no expertise. When considering different types of exit, the results show that popular presidents remove political ministers under controlled situations while non popular presidents are less capable of protecting technocrats in the context of external pressures.

Keywords: technocratic ministers, presidential approval, minister turnover

Suggested Citation

Camerlo, Marcelo and Pérez-Liñán, Anibal, Presidential Approval and Technocratic Survival (2012). APSA 2012 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Marcelo Camerlo (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Anibal Pérez-Liñán

University of Pittsburgh

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

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