Better than On-the-job Training: Leaders’ Work Experience and Economic Performance
Xiangyu Shi , Tianyang Xi , Yang Yao
This paper studies how work experiences of national leaders shape economic performance.We propose that the variety of experience (VOE) from the public sectors is an essential indicator of leader’s competence over managing economic aﬀairs. Using a newly collected data on national leaders’ career backgrounds, we find that the index of VOE has a positive eﬀect on growth. That eﬀect is more pronounced in helping economy recover from negative growth shocks. More experienced leaders manage economy more eﬃciently, and they have a better record of maintaining political stability. By contrast, we do not ﬁnd evidence that the experiences from the private sectors particularly matter for growth.
Keywords: Political Leaders, Variety of Experiences (VOE), Economic Performance
JEL: E61, H11, M12, O20