A Positive Effect of Political Dynasties: The Case of France's 1940 Enabling Act

62 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2019

See all articles by Jean Lacroix

Jean Lacroix

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pierre-Guillaume Meon

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB); Université Robert Schuman Strasbourg III

Kim Oosterlinck

Université Libre de Bruxelles - SBS-EM, CEB

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

The literature on political dynasties in democracies usually considers them as a homogenous group and points out their negative effects. By contrast, we argue that they may differ according to their origin and that democratic dynasties -- those whose founder was a defender of democratic ideals -- show stronger support for democracy. This claim is backed by an analysis of the vote by the French parliament on July 10, 1940, of an enabling act granting full power to Marshal Philippe Pétain, thereby ending the Third Republic. Using newly collected data from the biographies of the members of the then parliament, we observe that members of a democratic dynasty were more likely, by a margin of between 7.6 and 9.0 percentage points, to oppose the act than were members of other political dynasties or elected representatives belonging to no political dynasty. We report suggestive evidence showing that the effect of democratic dynasties was possibly driven by internalized democratic norms and beliefs.

Keywords: Autocratic reversals, democratic dynasties, voting behavior, World War II

JEL Classification: D72, H89, N44

Suggested Citation

Lacroix, Jean and Meon, Pierre-Guillaume and Oosterlinck, Kim, A Positive Effect of Political Dynasties: The Case of France's 1940 Enabling Act (July 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13871. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3428395

Jean Lacroix (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pierre-Guillaume Meon

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) ( email )

CP 132 Av FD Roosevelt 50
Brussels, Brussels 1050
Belgium

Université Robert Schuman Strasbourg III ( email )

47, Avenue de la Foret-Noire
Institut d'Etudes Politiques
67082 Strasbourg Cedex
France
33 3 88 41 77 21 (Phone)
33 3 88 41 77 78 (Fax)

Kim Oosterlinck

Université Libre de Bruxelles - SBS-EM, CEB ( email )

50 Avenue Roosevelt, CP114/03
Brussels 1050
Belgium

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