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The logic of hereditary rule: theory and evidence

Besley, Timothy and Reynal-Querol, Marta (2017) The logic of hereditary rule: theory and evidence. Journal of Economic Growth. ISSN 1381-4338

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10887-017-9140-4

Abstract

Hereditary leadership has been an important feature of the political landscape throughout history. This paper argues that hereditary leadership is like a relational contract which improves policy incentives. We assemble a unique dataset on leaders between 1874 and 2004 in which we classify them as hereditary leaders based on their family history. The core empirical finding is that economic growth is higher in polities with hereditary leaders but only if executive constraints are weak. Moreover, this holds across of a range of specifications. The finding is also mirrored in policy outcomes which affect growth. In addition, we find that hereditary leadership is more likely to come to an end when the growth performance under the incumbent leader is poor.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/journal/10887
Additional Information: © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H1 - Structure and Scope of Government > H11 - Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
N - Economic History > N4 - Government, War, Law, and Regulation > N40 - General, International, or Comparative
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
Sets: Departments > Economics
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2017 11:30
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2017 08:48
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/69615

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