DIGSSCORE Seminar: Ideological alignment and turnover intention among civil servants

Tobias Bach
Jacob Aars

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Tobias Bach, Professor at the Department of Political Science at University of Oslo, and Jacob Aars, Professor at the Department of Government at University of Bergen, will present for us today. They will present their paper, co-written with Professor Jarle Trondal, "Ideological alignment and turnover intention among civil servants".

The event is in a hybrid format, you are welcome to join us for lunch from the Corner room at DIGSSCORE. Food is provided on a first-come first-served basis. Zoom link for digital attendance.



What happens to bureaucrats’ career plans when they are faced with working for political principals who do not share their own ideological preferences? Will they stay put and continue in the same organization, or will they look for work elsewhere? The challenge of misalignment of political preferences is potentially at its most precarious during changes of government. How does a shift from alignment to misalignment (and vice versa) in party-political preferences affect civil servants’ career plans? Our study exploits a novel and unique data source: The Norwegian Panel of Public Administrators. We utilize the fact that data about the same individuals have been collected before and after an election that resulted in a shift in government, from a conservative coalition to a centre-left coalition. Our main finding is that ideological (mis)alignment is not a major driver of turnover intention. We find some significant effects among supporters of parties that were not represented in government before or after the government change. However, our results provide some support to the notion that government change is more consequential for ministry officials compared to agency officials.