Discussion Paper of the Institute for Organisational Economics 2/2012

Socio-Demographic Characteristics and Human Capital of the German Federal Government´s Members
Katrin Scharfenkamp/Alexander Dilger
February 2012



Currently, background, qualification and training of German top politicians are widely discussed by scholars and media. This paper provides new insights to this discussion by analysing significant differences between the chancellors, vice chancellors as well as ministers of the inner and residual cabinets of the German federal governments between 1949 and 2009 with respect to their socio-demographic backgrounds and educational, economic and political human capital. Applications of different statistical methods reveal that the ministers of the inner cabinet have the most advantageous social background and the best education. Vice chancellors score highest with regard to their economic human capital, measured here by board seats before their current offices. The average tenure in the federal government as well as the expertise in the actual headed department is highest for chancellors.