DP5206 Succession Rules and Leadership Rents

Author(s): Kai A. Konrad, Stergios Skaperdas
Publication Date: August 2005
Keyword(s): political leadership, political support, political survival, successorship
JEL(s): D72, D74, H50, N40
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=5206

Leaders compensate supporters not just for performing their duties but also in order to preempt an overthrow by the same supporters. We show how succession rules affect the power of leaders relative to supporters as well as the resources expended on possible succession struggles. We compare two regimes of leadership succession: the conclave regime and the divide-et-impera regime which differ with respect to the role of supporters of the previous leader once the new leader takes power. The leadership rent is higher and supporters receive a lower compensation in the divide-et-impera regime, as supporters have to fight harder for succession to avoid the grim outcome of loss. Leaders, then, would like to induce the divide-et-impera regime even when every supporter has veto power over his leadership.