Traditional Institutions and the Political Economy of the Philippines

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2020

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This dissertation is comprised of three essays on the political economy of the Philippines. It combines a variety of methods---historical and qualitative analysis, interviews, and statistical analysis---to examine various aspects of the interaction of politics and economics in the country. The first chapter examines the relationship between horizontal political dynasties and economic outcomes. I argue that horizontal dynasties---more than one member of a political family holding office simultaneously---allow members of the dynasties to coordinate over policy by circumventing veto points in the policy processes. This leads to higher spending on public goods. I further show that this increase in spending is not associated with improved development, suggesting that the increased spending is used inefficiently. The second chapter examines the interaction of rank and gender norms in dynastic politics. I argue that male candidates are more likely to replace higher ranking female, candidates, but the inverse is not true. This rationalizes existing strategies by dynasties such as benchwarming. The third chapter argues for the positive long-run effect of the colonial Catholic mission. Municipalities that had a colonial mission are more developed and have higher levels of state capacity today. This is because missions functioned as de facto states and vehicles for the establishment of local government. This chapter emphasizes that missions were not merely religious or educational institutions but vehicles for governance.

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Dulay, Dean Gerard C (2020). Traditional Institutions and the Political Economy of the Philippines. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21477.

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