Cleaning up and invigorating the civil service

by Robert Klitgaard

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback23 pages Free

Reliable quantitative estimates are not available of: (1) the quality of civil service performance and changes therein as the result of development projects, or (2) the importance of civil service performance for various development outcomes. Nonetheless, anecdotal evidence indicates that in some countries government performance has indeed collapsed, with calamitous effects on development. Although poor government performance is theoretically overdetermined--there are many possible causes, which the authors cannot disentangle in practice--a plausible story can be told based on institutional economics, using such concepts as information, incentives, and credible commitment. This version of both problems and solutions is supported by examples of successful reforms. Two practical examples are discussed in some detail: improving incentives in the public sector and strategies to combat corruption.

Research conducted by

Originally published in: Public Administration and Development, v. 17, 1997, pp. 487-509.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.