Organized Panel Session
Political dynasties are often associated with poor infrastructure provision. Because of their disproportionate power, they can capture public works procurement and engage in rent-seeking with impunity. Yet dynastic politicians may have the incentive to improve infrastructure provision and may be in a better position to minimize corruption by other agents involved in the procurement process. They face a longer time horizon than their non-dynastic counterparts, are often owners of local businesses that benefit from quality infrastructure, can streamline corruption by operating as a monopolist, and can rely on dynastic connections to minimize ex-post opportunism by politically connected firms. In this paper, I empirically test whether and how dynastic politicians improve infrastructure provision. Exploiting close legislative and mayoral elections to identify dynastic alignment between legislators and mayors as well as connections between dynastic politicians and firms, I show that: (1) firms politically connected to legislators tend to win more public works contracts, (2) legislators tend to implement the same public works to localities ruled by their relatives, and (3) public works projects completed in the same localities tend to be of higher quality as evaluated by an independent construction industry authority. Combined, the results suggest that although political dynasties capture public works procurement, they nonetheless improve infrastructure provision albeit in favor of localities they rule.