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Does opportunism pay off?

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  • Veiga, Linda G.
  • Veiga, Francisco Jose

Abstract

This article tests the hypothesis that the opportunistic manipulation of financial accounts by mayors increases their chances of re-election. Working with a large and detailed dataset comprising all Portuguese mainland municipalities, which covers the municipal elections that took place from 1979 to 2001, we clearly show that increases in investment expenditures and changes in the composition of spending favouring highly visible items are associated with higher vote percentages for incumbent mayors seeking re-election. Our results also indicate that the political payoff to opportunistic spending increased after democracy became well-established in the country.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 96 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 177-182

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:96:y:2007:i:2:p:177-182

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  1. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  2. Linda Gonçalves Veiga & Francisco José Veiga, 2006. "Does Opportunism Pay Off?," NIPE Working Papers 5/2006, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  3. Francisco José Veiga & Linda Gonçalves Veiga, 2001. "The determinants of vote intentions in Portugal," NIPE Working Papers 6/2001, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  4. Francisco Jose Veiga & Linda Goncalves Veiga, 2004. "Popularity functions, partisan effects, and support in Parliament," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 101-115, 03.
  5. Linda Veiga & Francisco Veiga, 2007. "Political business cycles at the municipal level," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 45-64, April.
  6. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2004. "Political Budget Cycles in New versus Established Democracies," NBER Working Papers 10539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2003. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting," Working Papers w0024, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  9. Frey, Bruno S & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "An Empirical Study of Politico-Economic Interaction in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 174-83, May.
  10. Coelho, Cesar & Veiga, Francisco Jose & Veiga, Linda G., 2006. "Political business cycles in local employment: Evidence from Portugal," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 82-87, October.
  11. Allan Drazen & Marcela Eslava, 2005. "Electoral Manipulation via Expenditure Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
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