Dynasties Thrive Under Decentralization in the Philippines

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The association of political clans with traditional politics, vote buying, impunity and other detrimental practices in Philippine politics is well documented in the academic literature. And in very recent studies, political dynasties have also been shown to be associated with deeper poverty — where there are fatter dynasties (i.e. political clan members occupying positions together) there tend to be increased poverty and underdevelopment. This paper provides an update on the over-all leadership patterns in the country, incorporating the results from the May 2016 elections. Over-all, when considering the results of the 2016 elections, the Philippines’ local governments became even more dynastic with over 80% of Governors and around 78% of Representatives belonging to political clans. Based on the present trend, we estimate that almost 70% of the entire local government leadership will be dynastic by 2040.