An Empirical Analysis on the Determinants of the Length of Ministerial Tenure in Korea, 1980-2008

Sung Deuk Hahm, Kwangho Jung, Sam Youl Lee

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The study of the length of ministerial tenure has received some attention by scholars of public management in Western countries. Responding to the lack of empirical research on ministerial duration in non-Western countries, this article empirically examines the determinants of ministerial duration based on the Korean Ministerial Database from 1980 to 2008. The empirical findings are as follows. First, being a female minister decreases the probability of stepping down by 1.78 times compared to a male minister. Second, political democratization after 1987 drastically increases the probability of ministerial stepping down by 3.46 times. Third, confirmation hearings after 2005 decrease the probability of ministerial stepping down by 0.53 times. Based on these empirical findings of the analysis, we can identify distinctive characteristics of ministerial duration in Korea. We argue that as the Korean political system shifts from military or authoritarian rule to democratic rule after 1987, a single five-year presidential term may set a political environment for frequent changes of ministers to allocate political spoils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-223
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Public Management Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2010-330-B00031 and NRF-2012-S1A3A2033474). Sung Deuk Hahm thanks the LG Yonam Foundation and the Korean Institute for Presidential Studies for financial support. Kwangho Jung thanks the overseas research grant of the division of Humanities and Social Sciences from Seoul National University.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Public Administration


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