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Dynastic Politicians: Theory and Evidence from Japan


Dynastic politicians, defined as those whose family members have also served in the same position in the past, occupy a sizable portion of offices in many parts of the world. We develop a model of how dynastic politicians with inherited political advantages affect electoral outcomes and policy choices. Our model predicts that, as compared with non-dynastic legislators, dynastic legislators bring more distributions to the district, enjoy higher electoral success, and harm the economic performance of the districts, despite the larger amount of distributive benefits they bring. We test the implications of the model using data from Japan between 1997 and 2007.

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Japanese Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 1468-1099
  • EISSN: 1474-0060
  • URL: /core/journals/japanese-journal-of-political-science
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