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To the Victor Belongs the Spoils? Party Membership and Public Sector Employment in Brazil

Author

Listed:
  • Fernanda Brollo,

    (University of Warwick, CAGE, and CEPR)

  • Forquesato, Pedro

    (PUC-Rio)

  • Gozzi, Juan Carlos

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

We analyze how political discretion a.ects the selection of government workers, using individual-level data on political party membership and matched employer-employee data on the universe of formal workers in Brazil. Exploiting close mayoral races, we find that winning an election leads to an increase of over 40% in the number of members of the winning party working in the municipal bureaucracy. Employment of members of the ruling party increases relatively more in senior positions, but also expands in lower-ranked jobs, suggesting that discretionary appointments are used both to influence policymaking and to reward supporters. We find that party members hired after their party is elected tend be of similar or even higher quality than members of the runner-up party, contrary to common perceptions that political appointees are less qualified. Moreover, the increased public employment of members of the ruling party is long-lasting, extending beyond the end of the mayoral term.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernanda Brollo, & Forquesato, Pedro & Gozzi, Juan Carlos, 2017. "To the Victor Belongs the Spoils? Party Membership and Public Sector Employment in Brazil," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1144, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1144
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Maximiliano Lauletta & Martín Rossi & Christian Ruzzier, 2020. "Audits and the Quality of Government," Working Papers 141, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2020.
    2. Klenio Barbosa & Fernando V. Ferreira, 2019. "Occupy Government: Democracy and the Dynamics of Personnel Decisions and Public Sector Performance," NBER Working Papers 25501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Brassiolo, Pablo & Estrada, Ricardo & Fajardo, Gustavo, 2020. "My (running) mate, the mayor: Political ties and access to public sector jobs in Ecuador," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    4. Voth, Hans-Joachim & Xu, Guo, 2019. "Patronage for Productivity: Selection and Performance in the Age of Sail," CEPR Discussion Papers 13963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bureaucracy ; patronage ; political parties ; public sector employment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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