The technocratic tendencies of economists in government bureaucracy

Johan Christensen, Ronen Mandelkern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Economists are by many accounts the most influential group of experts in contemporary political decision-making. While the literature on the power of economists mostly focuses on the policy ideas of economic experts, some recent studies suggest that economists also hold particular technocratic ideas about the policy process. The article systematically tests this argument. Focusing on economists within government bureaucracy, the study is based on a quantitative analysis of a large-scale survey of Norwegian ministerial civil servants. It finds that economists are more likely to hold technocratic role perceptions than officials with other educational backgrounds only if they work in the finance ministry or in higher administrative grades. The findings contribute to scholarship on the political sway of economists and to debates about technocracy and the technocratic views of civil servants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-257
Number of pages25
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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