Do Parties Matter? Party Affiliation and Fiscal Behavior in Brazilian Municipalities

Posted: 15 Jun 2013

See all articles by Thomas Brambor

Thomas Brambor

Stanford University - Department of Political Science; Alexander Hamilton Center at NYU

Ricardo Ceneviva

Rio de Janeiro State University - Institute for Social and Political Studies

Date Written: June 12, 2013

Abstract

What is the importance of political parties for the fiscal behavior of subnational governments in Brazil? Existing studies have found little or no effect of political affiliation on spending patterns. We argue that the nonresults are due to methodological limitations, case selection, and an inappropriate understanding of the budget process at the local level. In particular, existing studies (i) focus on state level politics, ignoring substantial variation at the municipal level, (ii) use pooled regression designs, ignoring political budget cycles and incumbency effects, and (iii) focus on parts of the state budgets concerned with social policies that are regulated by federal legislation. We improve on these studies by using changes in mayoral party affiliation across all 5500 municipalities to estimate the partisan effect on fiscal behavior in both federally regulated and unregulated budget areas.

Keywords: Political Parties, Public Expenditures, Brazil, Latin America

Suggested Citation

Brambor, Thomas and Ceneviva, Ricardo, Do Parties Matter? Party Affiliation and Fiscal Behavior in Brazilian Municipalities (June 12, 2013). EPSA 2013 Annual General Conference Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2278653 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2278653

Thomas Brambor

Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://thomas.brambor.com

Alexander Hamilton Center at NYU ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States

Ricardo Ceneviva (Contact Author)

Rio de Janeiro State University - Institute for Social and Political Studies ( email )

Rua da Matriz, 82
Botafogo
Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22260-100
Brazil
+55 21 2266 8300 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ricardoceneviva.com

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