Over at Foreign Policy's Passport blog, Joshua Keating links to an odd study by Dustin Beckett of the Federal Reserve and Gregory Hess of Claremont McKenna, in which they investigate why dictators have so many kids. In the paper, our intrepid wonks write:
We provide a theory whereby non-benevolent, non-democratic leaders increase their expected family size to raise the likelihood that a child will be a match at continuing the regime's survival . . . We find that in a sample of 221 country leaders, fully non-democratic leaders have approximately 1.5–2.5 more actual children as compared to if they are fully democratic.
The authors are willing to admit that more research is needed to prove this theory. Maybe an in-depth phone survey of the rulers of closed regimes? How about an internet poll?