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Self-Perpetuation of Political Power: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Argentina


  • Martín Rossi

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)


I investigate the relationship between tenure length in the House and posterior political success. Since tenure length in the House is potentially endogenous in a model for political success, I exploit a natural experiment in the Argentine Congress—where terms length were assigned randomly in the first Congress after the return to democracy in 1983—that provides a source of exogenous variation to initial political power. I find that having a longer tenure in the House increases both the probability of moving to higher political positions (an intrapersonal effect) and the probability of having a relative in future congresses (dynastic success or an interpersonal effect). I also find evidence that name recognition is a mechanism behind dynastic success. Finally, I explore the consequences of dynastic power and report evidence of negative correlation between being a dynastic legislator and political effort in Congress.

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  • Martín Rossi, 2016. "Self-Perpetuation of Political Power: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Argentina," Working Papers 127, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Aug 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:sad:wpaper:127

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2008. "Political careers or career politicians?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 597-608, April.
    2. Querubin, Pablo & Snyder, James M., 2013. "The Control of Politicians in Normal Times and Times of Crisis: Wealth Accumulation by U.S. Congressmen, 1850–1880," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 8(4), pages 409-450, October.
    3. David S. Lee, 2001. "The Electoral Advantage to Incumbency and Voters' Valuation of Politicians' Experience: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Elections to the U.S..," NBER Working Papers 8441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rossi, Martín A., 2014. "The impact of individual wealth on posterior political power," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 469-480.
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    political power; self-perpetuation; elites; legislators; political dynasties;

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