Who makes it an Autocracy? Networks and Political Careers in the German Democratic Republic
This seminar is hosted by Andrea Papadia.
We study the link between networks and political careers in former autocratic East Germany. Using detailed CV data on potential politicians and information about the official state hierarchy, we track and quantify career trajectories within the regime over time. Becoming connected to leading politicians can harm high-profile careers, while it has a positive effect on low-profile careers. We exploit exogenous networks that were formed through joint imprisonment during the Nazi Era.
An extensive analysis of potential mechanisms suggests that the negative effect of being linked to the party leadership on individuals' probability to be part of the ruling elite is the result of anti-factionalism.