Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1690358
 
 

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The Dynasty Advantage: Family Ties in Congressional Elections


Brian D. Feinstein


Harvard Law School

November 2010

Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 571-98, November 2010

Abstract:     
Political dynasties, families in which multiple members have held elected office, commonly feature in the U.S. Congress. I explored the electoral origins of this phenomenon and determined that members of political dynasties have a significant advantage over first-generation politicians in open-seat House elections. Using an original dataset containing candidate- and district-level covariates for all candidates in open-seat House contests between 1994 and 2006, I found that dynastic politicians enjoy “brand name advantages,” giving them a significant edge over comparable nondynastic opponents. In contrast, hypotheses concerning potential advantages stemming from past political experience and fundraising ability yield null results.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 28

Keywords: dynasties, political dynasties, dynastic candidates, dynastic politicians, political families, political elites, elections, political selection, Congress, legislatures, candidates, open seat, campaigns, name recognition, family ties, intergenerational transfers, brand name, label, goodwill

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Date posted: October 12, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Feinstein, Brian D., The Dynasty Advantage: Family Ties in Congressional Elections (November 2010). Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 571-98, November 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1690358

Contact Information

Brian D. Feinstein (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School ( email )
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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