NBER

Guo Xu

Haas School of Business
University of California at Berkeley
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
Tel: 510/664-5064

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
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NBER Program Affiliations: POL
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: University of California at Berkeley

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2020The Costs of Employment Segregation: Evidence from the Federal Government under Wilson
with Abhay Aneja: w27798
We link personnel records of the federal civil service to census data for 1907-1921 to study the segregation of the civil service by race under President Woodrow Wilson. Using a difference-in-differences design to compare the black-white wage gap around Wilson's presidential transition, we find that the introduction of employment segregation increased the black wage penalty by 7 percentage points. This gap increases over time and is driven by a reallocation of already-serving black civil servants to lower paid positions. Our results thus document significant costs borne by minorities during a unique episode of state-sanctioned discrimination.
December 2018Social Proximity and Bureaucrat Performance: Evidence from India
with Marianne Bertrand, Robin Burgess: w25389
Using exogenous variation in social proximity generated by an allocation rule, we find that bureaucrats assigned to their home states are perceived to be more corrupt and less able to withstand illegitimate political pressure. Despite this, we observe that home officers are more likely to be promoted in the later stages of their careers. To understand this dissonance between performance and promotion we show that incoming Chief Ministers preferentially promote home officers that come from the same home district. Taken together, our results suggest that social proximity hampers bureaucrat performance by facilitating political capture and corruption.

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