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Dynastic Politicians: Theory and Evidence from Japan

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2015

School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
Faculty of Law, Doshisha University, Kyoto,
Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University,
Department of Political Science, Syracuse University, NY,


Dynastic politicians, defined as those whose family members have also served in the same position in the past, occupy a sizable portion of offices in many parts of the world. We develop a model of how dynastic politicians with inherited political advantages affect electoral outcomes and policy choices. Our model predicts that, as compared with non-dynastic legislators, dynastic legislators bring more distributions to the district, enjoy higher electoral success, and harm the economic performance of the districts, despite the larger amount of distributive benefits they bring. We test the implications of the model using data from Japan between 1997 and 2007.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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