Competitive Examinations, Special Competitions for Senior Servants or Open Market Competitions - Which of Them Determine Merit the Most?


  • Mirko Pečarič University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Public Administration
Keywords: competitive examinations, competitions for senior servants, the selection on labour market, meritocracy


Selection mechanisms that could identify the best candidates for the civil service are the first step towards the effective and efficient public administration. The competitive examinations, specific competitions for senior servants and selection available on the labour market are the forms of meritocracy, so the question is not to abolish or sustain them, but to know which of them the most expresses talent, effort, and achievement. And this knowledge is the aim of this paper. Merit seems intuitively the best option for the selection of the best public sector employees, but it is questionable which form of selection is the best. Having this in mind, this paper based on the recruiting processes of the first twenty ranked countries based on the rule of law, GINI index, corruption perception and public integrity indexes shows the competition on the labour market system of recruitment of public servants as the most effective; then follows the competitive examination system for senior public servants and as the last (and contra intuitively) the competitive examination system. Based on the country's low Gini index, results also show it is more likely that the competition on the labour market recruitment system is used.


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