The Effect of Political Dynasties on Effective Democratic Governance: Evidence From the Philippines

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Abstract

What is the effect of political dynasties on effective governance? To determine whether dynastic presence has a positive or detrimental effect on good governance, we examined the Philippine House of Representatives, an institution where more than 60% of its members have been dominated by such clans since the restoration of democracy in 1987. Specifically, we test whether provinces dominated by such established families are more likely to bring higher levels of pork barrel allocations to their provinces. The findings show how provinces dominated by family clans are less likely to experience good governance in terms of (a) infrastructure development, (b) spending on health, (c) the prevalence of criminality, (d) full employment, and (e) the overall quality of government. The implications of the empirical analyses convey that political dynasties have deleterious effects in terms of the allocation of public goods, even if their presence induces higher levels of congressional earmarks.

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