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Policy Brief: Do political dynasties hinder development? Evidence from Pakistan

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While political dynasties are pervasive across developing countries we have limited knowledge of their impact on economic development. We probe this in a context where electoral politics is both competitive and clientelist. Leveraging novel databases on political genealogies and local development outcomes in Pakistan’s largest province, we show that entrenched dynasties are bad for economic development. A key implication of this finding is that policy design should account for elite incentives and avoid aid instruments that unintendedly entrench elites by providing them resources for patronage.

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