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Does Opportunism Pay Off?

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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

Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 5/2006.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:5/2006

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Keywords: Voting functions; opportunism; local governments; elections; Portugal.;

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  1. Linda Gonçalves Veiga & Francisco José Veiga, 2006. "Does Opportunism Pay Off?," NIPE Working Papers 5/2006, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  2. Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2003. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting," Working Papers w0024, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  3. 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.
  4. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  5. Francisco JosÈ Veiga & Linda GonÁalves Veiga, 2004. "The Determinants of Vote Intentions in Portugal," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 118(3_4), pages 341-364, 03.
  6. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
  7. Linda Veiga & Francisco Veiga, 2004. "Political business cycles at the municipal level," ERSA conference papers ersa04p427, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Allan Drazen & Marcela Eslava, 2005. "Electoral Manipulation via Expenditure Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
  12. 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.
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