Career incentives in political hierarchy: evidence from Imperial Russia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper studies political career incentives in a nondemocratic historical setting to assess early political institutions. We construct a novel panel database of governors of Imperial Russia in 91 provinces between 1895 and 1914. Measuring an imperial governor’s performance by his ability of peacekeeping, we test whether the central authorities in the Russian Empire resorted to career incentives to improve the performance of provincial governors. We find that the central administration promoted better performing governors only in the peripheral provinces (oblasts), but not in the main ones (gubernias). In addition, we show that political connections had no significant effect on career prospects.


External organisations
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Review of Economic History
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch