Do Political Dynasties Hinder Development? Evidence from the 2010 Pakistan Floods
Dynastic families have a firm hold over politics in Pakistan. The most rigorous available evidence shows that in 2008, 59 percent of politicians across national and provincial assemblies came from political dynasties. Theory holds that entrenched dynasties who can win elections off name recognition have little incentive to spend on development. Recent research supported by the International Growth Centre tests this theory by tracking development spending in national assembly constituencies across Pakistan by dynastic politicians versus non-dynastic politicians in the aftermath of the 2010 floods, which increased the urgency of spending for reconstruction efforts. It finds that on average, dynastic politicians in flood-affected areas spent less on development efforts. But among dynastic politicians, development spending varied according to whether they dervied their power from land holdings, or from their biradari (clan) affiliations.
Ayesha Ali — Assistant Professor, Lahore University of Management Sciences
Do Political Dynasties Hinder Development? Evidence from a Natural Disaster