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The Relationship between Federal Budget Amendments and Local Electoral Power

  • Firpo, Sergio

    ()

    (Sao Paulo School of Economics)

  • Ponczek, Vladimir

    ()

    (Sao Paulo School of Economics)

  • Sanfelice, Viviane

    (University of Rochester)

The objectives of this paper are twofold. First, we investigate whether politicians use resources from the federal budget as a strategy to maintain and expand their political capital. Second, we examine whether such a strategy is rewarded by voters who elect politicians who assist their municipalities through federal expenditures. The main contribution of this study is its illustration of how the use of fiscal policy affects the local political power of legislators in Brazil. We focus on the geographical distribution of votes received by politicians within their electoral districts instead of only examining the final outcomes of reelection efforts. Our findings indicate that politicians tend to favor municipalities that were important to their elections and that voters support candidates who have brought resources to their localities. However, given that Brazil uses a party-open-list proportional representation system for congressional elections, influencing the behavior of voters through amendments is not sufficient to increase a candidate's chances of winning reelection.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7918.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7918
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  1. Sergio Sakurai & Naercio Menezes-Filho, 2008. "Fiscal policy and reelection in Brazilian municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 301-314, October.
  2. Costa-I-Font, Joan & Rodriguez-Oreggia, Eduardo & Lunapla, Dario, 2003. " Political Competition and Pork-Barrel Politics in the Allocation of Public Investment in Mexico," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(1-2), pages 185-204, July.
  3. Andrew Leigh, 2008. "Bringing Home the Bacon: An empirical analysis of the extent and effects of pork-barreling in Australian politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 580, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. Golden, M. & Picci, L., 2007. "Pork Barrel Politics in Postwar Italy, 1953–1994," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0767, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2008. "How Do Budget Deficits and Economic Growth Affect Reelection Prospects? Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2203-20, December.
  6. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  7. Allan Drazen & Marcela Eslava, 2006. "Pork Barrel Cycles," NBER Working Papers 12190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
  9. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2010. "Do Elections Affect the Composition of Fiscal Policy?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2908, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  11. Khemani, Stuti, 2004. "Political cycles in a developing economy: effect of elections in the Indian States," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 125-154, February.
  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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