When Do You Get Economists as Policy-Makers?
Hertie School of Governance
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)
August 11, 2016
We analyze when economists become top-level “economic policy-makers,” focusing on financial crises and the partisanship of a country’s leader. We present a new dataset of the educational and occupational background of 1200 leaders, finance ministers, and central bank governors from 40 developed democracies between 1973 and 2010. Left leaders appoint more highly trained economists and fewer finance ministers with private finance backgrounds. Financial crises increase the likelihood of a former central banker becoming finance minister while those with a finance background are less likely to be appointed. A leader’s exposure to economics training is also related to appointments. One mechanism for affecting policy is through the selection of certain types of policy-makers, with implications for partisan economic cycles.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: Economic policy, Leaders, Education, Occupation, Partisanship, Financial crises
Date posted: December 21, 2012 ; Last revised: December 1, 2016