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Political dynasties and poverty: Resolving the “chicken or the egg” question

  • Mendoza, Ronald
  • Beja Jr, Edsel
  • Venida, Victor
  • Yap, David

"Political dynasty" refers to the situation wherein members of the same family are occupying elected positions either in sequence for the same position, or simultaneously across different positions. In the Philippines, political dynasties are prevalent in areas with more severe poverty. Two explanations for this situation have been proposed: poverty brings about political dynasties, or political dynasties engender poverty. These arguments suggest that the relationship between political dynasties and poverty can be treated as an empirical question. (So which one is the chicken, and which one is the egg?) In order to examine the direction of causality between political dynasties and poverty, this paper turns to provincial-level data from the Philippines and develops novel metrics on political dynasties: the shares of total positions occupied by dynastic politicians, of the largest dynastic clan as regards total positions, and of dynastic concentration inspired by the industrial concentration literature. To address endogeneity, instrumental variables for poverty are used, consisting of indicators for rainfall and the geographical distance to Manila (the Capital). The results we find are striking: poverty entrenches political dynasties; education appears to have no bearing on political dynasties; and the media affect only the largest political dynasties. There is less evidence that political dynasties bring about poverty.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 48380.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48380
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  1. Joseph J. Capuno & Stella A. Quimbo & Aleli D. Kraft & Carlos Antonio R. Tan, Jr., 2012. "The effects of term limits and yardstick competition on local government provision of health insurance and other public services : The Philippine case," UP School of Economics Discussion Papers 201201, University of the Philippines School of Economics.
  2. Ernesto Dal Bo & Pedro Dal Bo & Jason Snyder, . "Political Dynasties," Working Papers 2006-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Balisacan, Arsenio M. & Fuwa, Nobuhiko, 2004. "Going beyond Crosscountry Averages: Growth, Inequality and Poverty Reduction in the Philippines," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1891-1907, November.
  4. Dani Rodrik, 2007. "Introductiion to One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth
    [One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Beja Jr, Edsel & Mendoza, Ronald U. & Venida, Victor S. & Yap, David B., 2012. "Inequality in democracy: Insights from an empirical analysis of political dynasties in the 15th Philippine Congress," MPRA Paper 40104, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Orville Jose C. Solon & Raul V. Fabella & Joseph J. Capuno, 2001. "Is Local Development Good Politics? Local Development Expenditures and the Re-election of Governors in the Philippines for 1992, 1995 and 1998," UP School of Economics Discussion Papers 200104, University of the Philippines School of Economics.
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