The State Capacity Project

Welcome to the State Capacity Project. 

This project begins from the well-established notion that the concepts of state capacity and bureaucratic autonomy are vital to understanding how governments work. 

Little attention, however, has been paid to careful conceptualization and objective measurement of these two phenomena, much less to evaluating their effects at the level of individual bureaucratic agencies, within countries and across agencies in different countries. This project thus aims to make three contributions: rigorous differentiation between the intertwined concepts of bureaucratic capacity and political autonomy; construction of a large national dataset of measures of capacity and autonomy, built at the agency level; and the use of these new measures to qualitatively and quantitatively test longstanding, influential hypotheses regarding the relationship between bureaucracy and governance outcomes.
It is our hope that the extensive dataset collected and disseminated in this project, which covers more than  300,000 civil servants and almost 100 Brazilian government agencies, will facilitate empirical work, generating new standards for the conceptualization and measurement of bureaucracy. We are eager to receive comments from scholars who are working on related themes in Brazil and beyond, as well as to share working papers with other scholars working on related themes. 

On the left hand bar, you will find links to our working papers, data, and author information.