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Strategic partisan transfers in a fiscal federation: Evidence from a new Brazilian database


  • Mauricio Bugarin

    (University of Brasilia)

  • Fernanda Marciniuk

    (University of Brasilia)


This article makes use of a unique database that allows, for the first time, calculating in a precise way the amounts of discretionary transfers from the Brazilian Federal government to municipalities in the period from 1997 to 2012. The new database is used to test the “strategic partisan transfers hypothesis”, which states that mayors from the same party as the president receive higher federal transfers than those from different parties, if the corresponding municipality is situated in a state where the governor is not aligned with the president. In general, the econometric analysis strongly supports the strategic partisan transfers hypothesis. Furthermore, it supports the hypothesis that there is a biannual political transfers cycle in Brazil due to the country’s staggered electoral system with elections every other year.

Suggested Citation

  • Mauricio Bugarin & Fernanda Marciniuk, 2017. "Strategic partisan transfers in a fiscal federation: Evidence from a new Brazilian database," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 20, pages 211-239, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:20:y:2017:n:2:p:211-239

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    More about this item


    tactical allocation; strategic partisan transfers; biannual political cycle; fiscal federalism; Brazil;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism


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