The Causes and Consequences of Civil Service Reform in U.S. States

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


Understanding the causes and consequences of civil service reform is relevant for the fields of economics, political science and public administration, however, there is little theoretically motivated, rigorous empirical research on the topic. This project will study civil service regulations both empirically and theoretically in order to reach conclusions relevant for several fields in social science and inform policy experiments currently under way in many U.S. states and countries around the world. It collects a unique new dataset on civil service regulations in U.S. states since the beginning of the merit reforms in the early 20th century up to the present. This dataset, to be made freely available for subsequent research, will help establish a knowledge-base on civil service reforms upon which economists, political scientists, and public personnel administration scholars can build.

Grant Product

Ujhelyi, Gergely. 2014. "Civil Service Rules and Policy Choices: Evidence from US State Governments." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 6(2): 338-380.

Ujhelyi, Gergely. 2014. "Civil Service Reform."
Journal of Public Economics 118: 15-25.

"Civil Service Rules and Policy Choices: Evidence from US State Governments."
University of Houston Department of Economics, 201303249, 2013

"Civil Service Reform." University of Houston Working Paper, 2012