Career Incentives of Governors in Late Tsarist Russia
36 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 15, 2015
Recent empirical studies show that career advancement may be employed as a tool to improve the efficiency of a political hierarchy. This paper investigates whether the central authorities in the Russian Empire resorted to career advancement incentives to improve the performance of provincial governors. To that end, from historical sources, we have constructed a new panel database of individual characteristics and career tracks of the majority of Russian governors in 91 provinces during 1895-1914. Measuring a governor's performance by the intensity of peasant revolts and worker strikes in the province under his rule, we provide evidence that the central administration rewarded better performing governors only in the peripheral provinces (oblasts), but not in the main provinces (gubernias). These results are robust to various sensitivity tests. In addition, we show that political connections had no significant effect on career mobility, and the performance evaluation of central authorities did not change significantly in the aftermath of 1905-1907 revolution.
Keywords: Career Incentives, Political Hierarchy, Russian Empire.
JEL Classification: H11, J63, N43, P3
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