Summary of Do Businessmen Make Good Governors?

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Do Businessmen Make Good Governors? summary
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In the United States, most prominent politicians have a law degree, extensive political experience, or both. But as the country’s 2016 presidential election showed, career politicians do not always have the upper hand; people with business backgrounds also can win elections. Yet substantial debate continues about how well a business career translates into public service. This illuminating report from economist Florian Neumeier methodically tracks the records of “CEO governors” and quantifies their economic results. getAbstract recommends this empirical study of a speculative discussion to public servants and voters, as well as to businesspeople considering a run for public office.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What a study of US “CEO governors” reveals,
  • What economic effects they had on their state economies and
  • How these accomplishments compare to those of career-politician governors.

About the Author

Florian Neumeier is an economist at the Ifo Institute in Munich, Germany.



Some observers of the political scene believe that businesspeople bring management experience, leadership skills and other valuable talents to public governance. Not surprisingly, during election campaigns, erstwhile executives emphasize their business acumen as their qualification for government office. These aspirants tend to be less wedded to party platforms than politicians are and more willing to adopt change. Because CEOs often spend their own money on campaigning, they may not feel indebted to large contributors and special interest groups. But other commentators believe that the public-sector economic results of former business leaders often fall short of hyped expectations. “CEO governors” could promote their own business interests while in government. And managing a business, in which executives can command and control, differs greatly from democratically governing a population, whose interests leaders must serve.

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