Charles Cameron

Princeton University
Woodrow Wilson School
030 Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1013

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Princeton University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2020Quitting in Protest: Presidential Policymaking and Civil Service Response
with John M. de Figueiredo: w26944
We formally model the impact of presidential policymaking on the willingness of bureaucrats to exert effort and stay in the government. In the model, centralized policy initiative by the president demotivates policy-oriented bureaucrats and can impel them to quit rather than implicate themselves in presidentially imposed policies they dislike. Those most likely to quit are a range of moderate bureaucrats. More extreme bureaucrats may be willing to wait out an incumbent president in the hope of shaping future policy. As control of the White House alternates between ideologically opposed extreme presidents, policy-minded moderates depart from bureaucratic agencies leaving only policy extremists or poorly performing "slackers." The consequences for policy making are substantial. Despite these...
December 2016Public Sector Personnel Economics: Wages, Promotions, and the Competence-Control Trade-off
with John M. de Figueiredo, David E. Lewis: w22966
We model personnel policies in public agencies, examining how wages and promotion standards can partially offset a fundamental contracting problem: the inability of public sector workers to contract on performance, and the inability of political masters to contract on forbearance from meddling. Despite the dual contracting problem, properly constructed personnel policies can encourage intrinsically motivated public sector employees to invest in expertise, seek promotion, remain in the public sector, and develop policy projects. However, doing so requires internal personnel policies that sort "slackers" from "zealots." Personnel policies that accomplish this task are quite different in agencies where acquired expertise has little value in the private sector, and agencies where acquired expe...

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