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Political Dynasties and the Incumbency Advantage in Party-Centered Environments

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2018

BI Norwegian Business School
Harvard University
Jon H. Fiva, BI Norwegian Business School, Department of Economics, Nydalen, 0442 Oslo, Norway (
Daniel M. Smith, Harvard University, Department of Government, 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA (


A handful of recent studies have investigated the causal effect of incumbency on dynasty formation in candidate-centered electoral contexts. We use candidate-level data and a regression discontinuity design to estimate the incumbency advantage and its relation to dynasty formation in the party-centered, closed-list, proportional-representation setting of Norway. The results indicate that the incumbency advantage exists even in this party-centered environment; however, in contrast to recent findings for the United States and the Philippines, we find no evidence that incumbency is important to the formation of dynasties. This finding underscores the need for more research into the role of internal party organizational networks in the perpetuation of political dynasties.

Copyright © American Political Science Association 2018 

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Jon Fiva gratefully acknowledges the hospitality of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard, and the Centre for the Study of Equality, Social Organization, and Performance (ESOP) at the Department of Economics at the University of Oslo. We also thank Colleen Driscoll, Ross Friedman, Anna Gomez, Anna Menzel, Megan Mers, Oscar Pedersen, and Anthony Ramicone for data collection assistance, and Henning Finseraas, Askill Halse, Joan Ricart-Huguet, Johanna Rickne, Øyvind Skorge, Carlos Velasco Rivera, anonymous referees, and workshop participants at ISF (Oslo), NTNU (Trondheim), Princeton University, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Nottingham, and the University of Oslo for helpful comments. Replication files are available at the American Political Science Review Dataverse:


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