An Electoral Model of Political Dynasties
51 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2016 Last revised: 5 Jul 2017
Date Written: September 23, 2016
In this paper we propose an electoral model that studies the interaction between the distribution of voters ideal policies and the success of dynastic politicians. Electoral success of politicians depends on their ability to implement better policies for the voters because campaign promises are empty. Good politicians are more likely to implement the policy that maximizes social welfare. Dynastic politicians are believed to be good or bad depending on the policy implemented by their predecessors while in office. When the mean and median voters’ preferences coincide, good dynastic politicians enjoy a competitive advantage, but still can lose in some situations. However, as the gap between average and median policy preferences widens good dynastic candidates lose their competitive edge, and bad dynasts recover part of their disadvantage. We conclude that democracies with larger political polarization, may show a larger share of bad to good dynastic politicians, but not necessarily a larger share of dynastic politicians overall. We finally extend this model by introducing candidates’ concerns about future generations, and an electorate with long-term memory.
Keywords: political dynasties, political selection, ideological polarization
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