hero working papers

Bureaucrat Allocation in the Public Sector: Evidence from the World Bank

Number: 655
Year: 2019
Author(s): Nicola Limodio
The allocation of bureaucrats across tasks constitutes a pivotal instrument for achieving an organization's objectives. In this paper, I measure the performance of World Bank bureaucrats by combining the universe of task assignment with an evaluation of task outcome and a hand-collected dataset of bureaucrat CVs. I introduce two novel stylized facts. First, bureaucrat performance correlates with task features and individual characteristics. Second, there exists a negative assortative matching between high-performing bureaucrats and low-performing countries. In the aftermath of natural disasters, which may weaken countries' performance even further, I observe that low-performing countries receive an additional allocation of high-performing bureaucrats. I discuss various interpretations of these findings.

Keywords: Personnel Management, Public Sector, International Organizations