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Evans and Rauch: Bureaucracy and growth

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I say who wrote them.

Evans and Rauch. 1999. Bureaucracy and growth: A cross-national analysis of the effects of 'Weberian' state structures on . American Sociological Review 64:748-65.


Two main theories have attempted to explain economic growth

  1. Initiated by Weber, several approaches have argued that institutional characteristics of a state affect growth, including transparency, governance, etc. (Knack & Keefer, endogenous growth theory...).
  2. Based on Adam Smith & neoclassical economics, another argument suggests that the state is antithetical to growth due to its predatory, rent-seeking nature (Bates, etc).


Weber argued that bureaucracies, as the primary implementing actor, are central to the role of the state. In particular, he argued that two characteristics are key. The authors provide only a basic (shaky) attempt to connect theoretically these attributes to growth.

  1. Long time horizons will lead to more public infrastructure investment
  2. Coherence yields effectiveness
  3. Reduced corruption decreases rents/tax
  4. A competent, predictable bureaucracy increases investment from politicians



  1. Where's the theory? There's no good explanation for why X --> Y.
  2. The entire research design is somewhat dubious--nonrandom sample w/ nonrandom informants, etc. It's a start, but...

Research on similar subjects


Comparative PoliticsBureaucracyGrowthCivil Service Reform

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