Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Resilient leaders and institutional reform: theory and evidence

Besley, Timothy, Persson, Torsten and Reynal-Querol, Marta (2016) Resilient leaders and institutional reform: theory and evidence. Economica, 83 (332). pp. 584-623. ISSN 0013-0427

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (613kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1111/ecca.12208


Strengthening executive constraints is one of the key means of improving political governance. This paper argues that resilient leaders who face a lower probability of being replaced are less likely to reform institutions in the direction of constraining executive power. We test this idea empirically using data on leaders since 1875 using two proxies of resilience: whether a leader survives to die in office and whether recent natural disasters occur during the leader's tenure. We show that both are associated with lower rates of leader turnover and a lower probability of a transition to strong executive constraints. This effect is robust across a wide range of specifications. Moreover, in line with the theory, it is specific to strengthening executive constraints rather than generalized political reform.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The London School of Economics and Political Science
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2017 10:11
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 03:01
Projects: ECO2014-55555-P
Funders: European Research Council, Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Foundations, Spanish Ministerio de Educación, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Barcelona GSE Research Network, Government of Catalonia

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics