Determinants of Bureaucratic Turnover Intention: Evidence from the Department of the Treasury

39 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2006

See all articles by Anthony M. Bertelli

Anthony M. Bertelli

Pennsylvania State University; Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals - IBEI

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This study employs a novel statistical strategy to examine the determinants of turnover intention in government service. To appropriately measure a main determinant of turnover intention - functional preferences - I estimate an ordinal item response model using data from the Federal Human Capital Survey. The sample is selected to facilitate an important comparison: the Internal Revenue Service has undergone significant performance-based pay reforms for supervisors, but not for non-supervisors, while the and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, also a subunit of the U.S. Treasury, has not. Inferential models of turnover intention reveal among other things that functional and friendship solidary preferences are important determinants of turnover intention, but increased accountability is associated with greater turnover among subordinates. IRS supervisors, who face paybanding, are significantly less likely to consider leaving than their counterparts in the OCC, who do not face such incentives.

Keywords: turnover intention, item response theory, bureaucratic behavior, job involvement, intrinsic motivation

JEL Classification: D73

Suggested Citation

Bertelli, Anthony M., Determinants of Bureaucratic Turnover Intention: Evidence from the Department of the Treasury. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States


Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals - IBEI ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005

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