The Impact of Political Leaders' Profession and Education on Reforms

KOF Working Paper No. 147

38 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2006

See all articles by Axel Dreher

Axel Dreher

Heidelberg University

Michael J. Lamla

ETH Zurich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute; University of Essex

Sarah M. Lein

University of Basel; Swiss National Bank; ETH Zurich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute

Frank Somogyi

Deutsche Bundesbank

Date Written: September 2006

Abstract

This paper analyzes whether the educational and professional background of a head of government matters for the implementation of market-liberalizing reforms. Employing panel data over the period 1970-2002, we present empirical evidence based on a novel data set covering profession and education of more than 500 political leaders from 73 countries. Our results show that entrepreneurs, professional scientists, and trained economists are significantly more reform oriented. Contrary, union executives tend to impede reforms. We also highlight interactions between profession and education with time in office and the political leaning of the ruling party.

Keywords: Reforms, Economic Policy, Economic Freedom, Interest Groups, Lobbying

JEL Classification: D72, E61, H11

Suggested Citation

Dreher, Axel and Lamla, Michael J. and Lein, Sarah M. and Somogyi, Frank, The Impact of Political Leaders' Profession and Education on Reforms (September 2006). KOF Working Paper No. 147. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=946088 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.946088

Axel Dreher (Contact Author)

Heidelberg University ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.axel-dreher.de

Michael J. Lamla

ETH Zurich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Zurich
Switzerland

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Sarah M. Lein

University of Basel ( email )

Petersplatz 1
Basel, CH-4003
Switzerland

Swiss National Bank ( email )

Research
Fraumuensterstr. 8
Zuerich, 8022
Switzerland

ETH Zurich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Zurich
Switzerland

Frank Somogyi

Deutsche Bundesbank ( email )

Wilhelm-Epstein-Str. 14
Frankfurt/Main, 60431
Germany

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