Multi-Office Incumbency Advantage: Political Careers in Brazil

Available from: 
June 2015
Paper author(s): 
Leandro De Magalhaes
Salomo Hirvonen

Incumbency may have effects on a political career that go beyond increasing the probability of reelection. In particular, incumbency may affect the probability of winning different political offices. So far, the literature has not looked at these multi-office incumbency effects. In contexts where politicians move frequently to other offices, ignoring multi-office advantages may generate biased estimates of the true effect of holding a political office on the success of one's career. We define Multi-Office Incumbency Advantage and study it using a novel data set that tracks all Brazilian politicians, from local councillor to federal legislator, from 1994 to 2010. Furthermore, we use our results to evaluate two standing hypothesis regarding Brazilian politics. The first is that there is an incumbency disadvantage in Brazil. The second is the hypothesis that holding a federal legislative office is a spring board to becoming a Mayor. We find no support for either.


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