Leader survival and cabinet change

Alejandro Quiroz Flores, Alastair Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Political leaders face both internal and external threats to their tenure as leaders. To retain office leaders need mass support, for instance to win elections. However, they also need to deal with potential internal party rivals. Using a game theoretic model, we examine how the incentives created by these competing pressures affect the retention of ministers across different political systems. Since non-democratic leaders face relatively little threat from the masses, their concern is to reduce internal party risk. Therefore, they remove high performing ministers and retain mediocre and poor performers. As it becomes easier for the masses to replace the party in power, leaders must tradeoff internal and external threats. Retaining competent leaders improves party performance but generates an internal party rival.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)345-366
    Number of pages22
    JournalEconomics and Politics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Nov 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics


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