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Does Opportunism Pay Off?

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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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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  1. 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.
  2. Linda Veiga & Francisco Veiga, 2007. "Political business cycles at the municipal level," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 45-64, April.
  3. 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.
  4. Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
  5. Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in A Young Democracy Setting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1301-1338, November.
  6. Veiga, Linda G. & Veiga, Francisco Jose, 2007. "Does opportunism pay off?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 177-182, August.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Allan Drazen & Marcela Eslava, 2005. "Electoral Manipulation via Expenditure Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
  11. 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.
  12. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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