London School of Economics EOPP: Economic Organisation and Public Policy Programme LSE
EOPP: Economic Organisation and Public Policy Programme

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The Length of Ministerial Tenure in the UK 1945-1997

Samuel Berlinski, Keith Dowding, Torun Dewan, December 2005
Paper No' PEPP 16: | Full paper (pdf)
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We analyse the determinants of ministerial hazard rates in the UK from 1945-1997. We focus on three sets of attributes i) personal characteristics of the minister; ii) political characteristics of the minister and iii) characteristics pertaining to the government in which the minister serves. We find that educational background increases ministers’ capacity to survive, that female ministers have lower hazard rates and older ministers have higher hazard rates. Experienced ministers have higher hazard than newly appointed ministers. Ministerial rank increases a ministers’ capacity to survive, with full cabinet members having the lowest hazard rates in our sample. We use different strategies to controls for the characteristics of the government the ministers serve in. Our results are robust to any of these controls.