Performance and Promotions in an Autocracy: Evidence from Nazi Germany

43 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2019

See all articles by Lasse Aaskoven

Lasse Aaskoven

University of Essex - Department of Government

Jacob Nyrup

University of Oxford, Nuffield College

Date Written: October 1, 2018

Abstract

Scholars of autocracies are increasingly debating whether autocratic regimes promote their subordinates based on achievements. Using the career tracks of the regional leaders of the German Nazi Party, the Gauleiters, from 1936 to 1944, we examine whether performance mattered for promotions within the Nazi state. The results show that better regional economic performance increased the chance of receiving a promotion before the outbreak of World War II but not after. In contrast, seniority within the Nazi Party is associated with a higher likelihood of promotion after the outbreak of the war but not before. This suggests a shift from performance to loyalty as a promotion criterion during the war. The results indicate that the extent to which autocratic regimes reward economic performance varies, depending on internal and external threats and the regime's ability to monitor its subordinates' performance.

Keywords: Authoritarian Regimes, Nazi Germany, Economic Performance, Promotions

Suggested Citation

Aaskoven, Lasse and Nyrup, Jacob, Performance and Promotions in an Autocracy: Evidence from Nazi Germany (October 1, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3308807 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3308807

Lasse Aaskoven

University of Essex - Department of Government ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Jacob Nyrup (Contact Author)

University of Oxford, Nuffield College ( email )

New Road
Oxford
United Kingdom

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