Genetic Imprints, Party Life Cycles and Organizational Mortality: an Application of State-Space Duration Models

Nicole Bolleyer, Patricia Correa, Gabriel Katz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is a classical argument that how parties are born affects how they die. Nevertheless, few studies theorize and rigorously estimate the impact of formative features on the risk of organizational death. Using a life cycle perspective, we theorize how and when party mortality is shaped by four formative features constituting parties’ heritage: insider status, societal rootedness, ideological novelty, and roots in preexisting parties. To assess the dynamic influence of these formative features on party death, we fit a state-space duration model to a data set covering 204 party trajectories in 22 consolidated democracies. Our modeling approach outperforms conventional methods and yields results that contradict the notion that formative features lose relevance as parties age. Our findings indicate that insider status affects mortality risk toward parties’ midlife, societal rootedness matters early and late in parties’ trajectories, while the combination of ideological novelty and roots in preexisting parties matters throughout parties’ life spans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-279
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number1
Early online date2 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research received funding from two European Research Council grants (STATORG, grant agreement ID 335890; CIVILSPACE, grant agreement ID 101001458); this support is gratefully acknowledged. Replication files are available in the JOP Dataverse ( The empirical analysis has been successfully replicated by the JOP replication analyst. An appendix with supplementary material is available at /10.1086/722351.


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