Daniel M. Smith

Daniel M. Smith
Columbia University | CU · Department of Political Science

PhD

About

59
Publications
9,192
Reads
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509
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2021 - present
Columbia University
Position
  • Visiting Professor (Associate)
October 2012 - July 2013
Stanford University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2012 - August 2012
University of California, San Diego
Position
  • Lecturer (Associate-In)

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
A key feature of parliamentary democracy is government accountability vis-à-vis the legislature, but the important question of who speaks for the government—cabinet ministers or unelected bureaucrats, and the institutional underpinnings of this behavior—receives scant attention in the existing literature. We investigate this question using the case...
Article
How do parties motivate candidates to exert effort in closed-list elections, where seat outcomes are uncertain only for candidates in marginal list positions? We argue that parties can solve this moral hazard problem by committing ex ante to allocate higher offices in government, such as cabinet portfolios, monotonically with list rank. Under this...
Article
Full-text available
Throughout history and across countries, women appear more likely than men to enter politics on the heels of a close family relative or spouse. To explain this dynastic bias in women’s representation, we introduce a theory that integrates political selection decisions with informational inequalities across social groups. Candidates with dynastic ti...
Article
The concept of electoral competition plays a central role in many subfields of political science, but no consensus exists on how to measure it. One key challenge is how to conceptualize and measure electoral competitiveness at the district level across alternative electoral systems. Recent efforts to meet this challenge have introduced general meas...
Article
Although politicians’ personal attributes are an important component of elections and representation, few studies have rigorously investigated which attributes are most relevant in shaping voters’ preferences for politicians, or whether these preferences vary across different electoral system contexts. We investigate these questions with a conjoint...
Chapter
This chapter gives a descriptive overview of the empirical record using the book’s two original data sets. The first aim is to situate the case of Japan in a broader comparative context and highlight some of the puzzles in the aggregate variation in dynastic politics across countries, parties, and time. The second aim is to explore the empirical pa...
Chapter
This chapter concludes the book by drawing together the key empirical findings and reflecting on the lessons that Japan’s experience with dynastic politics might hold for other democracies, such as India and the Philippines, where dynasties have been viewed as a growing problem in recent years, and Ireland, where politics is still in many ways a fa...
Book
Democracy is supposed to be the antithesis of hereditary rule by family dynasties. And yet “democratic dynasties” continue to persist in democracies around the world. They have been conspicuously prevalent in Japan, where more than a third of all legislators and two-thirds of all cabinet ministers in recent years have come from families with a hist...
Chapter
This chapter introduces the puzzle of “democratic dynasties” and Japan’s unusually high level of dynastic politics compared to other democracies. The chapter briefly reviews the existing explanations for the causes of dynastic politics, and then summarizes the new theoretical argument that is offered in the book, as well as the background context o...
Chapter
This chapter examines dynastic candidate selection in Japan under the single nontransferable vote (SNTV) electoral system and the changes that have occurred since the adoption of a mixed-member majoritarian (MMM) system, which combines first-past-the-post and closed-list proportional representation. Dynasties under SNTV were more common in larger,...
Chapter
This chapter evaluates the advantage of dynastic ties in promotion to cabinet. Before 1970, legacy members of parliament—particularly those whose predecessors had served in cabinet—were overrepresented in most cabinets. From 1970 to 1993, seniority rule and factional balancing functioned as informal institutions constraining the choices of LDP prim...
Chapter
This chapter explores the inherited incumbency advantage in elections, the mechanisms behind the advantage, and how it differs in the prereform and postreform electoral environments of Japan. New legacy candidates are decidedly advantaged over non-legacy candidates in both SNTV and FPTP elections. However, there is also a selection effect in terms...
Chapter
This chapter introduces a comparative theory of dynastic candidate selection based on a framework of supply and demand within the institutional contexts of electoral systems and candidate selection methods. On the supply side, incumbents who serve longer terms in office, and who are themselves part of an existing dynasty, will be more likely to hav...
Chapter
This chapter considers several potential downstream effects of dynastic politics on the functioning of democracy and the quality of representation, including effects on gender representation, the representational style of candidates, and legislative behavior. There is a clear pattern across democracies and in Japan of a gender bias in dynastic poli...
Chapter
The 2017 general election played out in very similar ways to 2014. Turnout remained low, and the coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Kōmeitō retained its two-thirds majority. The big story of the election was a schism within the opposition and the formation of two new parties, the Party of Hope and the Constitutional Democratic Part...
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of the 2017 general election in Japan, and introduces the contents of the volume.
Book
This third volume in the Japan Decides series remains the premier venue for scholarly research on Japanese elections. Putting a spotlight on the 2017 general election, the contributors discuss the election results, party politics, coalition politics with Komeito, the cabinet, constitutional revision, new opposition parties, and Abenomics. Additiona...
Article
A prominent line of theories holds that proportional representation (PR) was introduced in many European democracies by a fragmented bloc of conservative parties seeking to preserve their legislative seat shares after franchise extension and industrialization increased the vote base of socialist parties. In contrast to this “seat-maximization” acco...
Article
Representative democracy entails the aggregation of multiple policy issues by parties into competing bundles of policies, or “manifestos,” which are then evaluated holistically by voters in elections. This aggregation process obscures the multidimensional policy preferences underlying a voter’s single choice of party or candidate. We address this p...
Article
A handful of recent studies have investigated the causal effect of incumbency on dynasty formation in candidate-centered electoral contexts. We use candidate-level data and a regression discontinuity design to estimate the incumbency advantage and its relation to dynasty formation in the party-centered, closed-list, proportional-representation sett...
Article
Kinship often continues to play an important role in determining the ruling class even under modern democratic elections in a wide range of countries. In recent years, academic interest in the causes and consequences of such dynasties has been rapidly expanding. In this introduction to the Feature, we review existing work on political dynasties’ fo...
Article
Since gaining full independence in 1905, Norway has experienced more than a century of democratic elections, and has reformed its electoral system three times, most notably with the switch from a two-round runoff system to proportional representation in 1919. This research note introduces a new dataset featuring all candidates running for parliamen...
Article
What effect do candidates with local ties have on voter turnout and party support? A considerable challenge within the existing literature on the personal vote, including that part which derives from local ties, is disentangling it from the party vote using observational data. We exploit the unique institutional context of Norway's historical two-r...
Article
A substantial body of research examines whether increasing the proportionality of an electoral system increases turnout, mostly based on cross-national comparisons. In this study, we offer two main contributions to the previous literature. First, we show that moving from a single-member district system to proportional representation in multimember...
Article
We investigate whether politicians whose family relatives previously served in parliament and cabinet enjoy a competitive “legacy advantage” in progressing from the backbenches to cabinet. This advantage may stem from two potential mechanisms: a direct effect attributable to the informational advantages of legacies or an indirect effect that operat...
Chapter
On December 14, 2014, Japanese voters turned out in record-low numbers (52.7% of eligible voters) to elect a new House of Representatives (HR). The result was an overwhelming victory by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner Komeito.
Chapter
Japanese electoral politics and leadership in the past decade have been anything but stable. Both the 2009 and 2012 House of Representatives (HR) elections resulted in landslide defeats for the party in power. Between the 2005 and 2009 elections, Japan was led by four separate Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) prime ministers in as many years, includi...
Chapter
At first glance, candidate recruitment and nominations for the 2014 House of Representatives (HR) election appeared relatively unexciting compared to the 2012 election. In 2012, there were a record number of candidates (1,504) from 12 registered parties, and nearly half of the candidates were running for the very first time in an HR election. Many...
Article
Majoritarian electoral systems may generate a trade-off between elite-level strategies to coordinate and voter preferences for individual candidates, particularly those with local ties. However, coordination and its impact on voter mobilization and turnout is difficult to observe and measure in most majoritarian systems. We exploit the unique insti...
Article
We investigate whether politicians whose family relatives previously served in parliament and cabinet enjoy a competitive "legacy advantage" in progressing from the backbenches to ministerial office. This advantage may stem from two potential mechanisms: a direct effect attributable to the informational advantages of legacies, or an indirect effect...
Article
Representative democracy entails the aggregation of multiple policy issues by political parties into competing bundles of policies (manifestos), which are then evaluated holistically by voters in elections. This process makes it difficult to understand the multidimensional policy preferences underlying a voter's single choice (vote for a particular...
Article
What effect does the financial cost of running for office have on candidate entry decisions, and does it differ depending on a candidate’s motivations for running? We use a regression discontinuity design and panel data analysis to estimate the causal effect of campaign costs on candidate entry in Japan, where the amount of money required as a depo...
Article
The method of candidate selection used by parties can influence a number of outcomes related to party organization and representation. In the past decade, Japan’s political parties have increasingly experimented with an ‘open recruitment’ system for selecting new candidates for national elections, but the degree of centralization in the process var...
Chapter
On 16 December 2012, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which had been swept from power in August 2009 after more than half a century of dominance, roared back with a landslide of its own. Entering the election with only 118 of 480 seats in the House of Representatives (HR), the lower house of the National Diet, the LDP emerged with a stomping...
Chapter
A record of 1,504 candidates from 12 registered parties ran in the 2012 House of Representatives (HR) election, more candidates than at any other HR election since 1947.1 Nearly half (730) of these were “first-time” candidates to the HR (Table 9.1). This chapter details the methods used by the major parties to recruit these new candidates, in parti...
Article
Abstract will be provided by author.
Article
Parliamentary democracy means that the political executive is accountable to the parliamentary majority. However, when both the parliamentary majority and the cabinet consist of two or more distinct political parties, it is often difficult for the parliamentary majority to monitor and control the executive. In this article, we focus on political de...
Article
Electoral systems structure the incentives facing political parties as they select candidates to run under the party label in contest elections. For example, systems with candidate-centered voting in small-sized districts advantage candidates with name recognition and local ties. Little empirical research exists on party strategies in candidate sel...

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Projects (4)
Project
electoral reform, local politics, economic growth, electoral fraud, etc.