Reelecting Corrupt Incumbents in Exchange for Public Goods: Rouba Mas Faz in Brazil
Carlos Pereira and Marcus André Melo. "Reelecting Corrupt Incumbents in Exchange for Public Goods: Rouba mas faz in Brazil." Latin American Research Review 50, no. 4 (2015): 88-115
28 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2014 Last revised: 16 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 15, 2016
This paper addresses the paradox of unpopular corruption and popular corrupt politicians. It explores why corrupt politicians get reelected, paying particular attention to incumbent provision of public goods and voter information on incumbent misconduct. Using a new dataset on mayoral elections (2000 and 2004) in the Brazilian State of Pernambuco, we specify econometric models to test the hypothesis that incumbents’ performance in delivering public goods might mitigate reputational losses. Our main empirical analysis suggests that: (i) corruption decreases the probability of incumbent reelection; (ii) public expenditure increases the probability of reelection; (iii) and the negative marginal effect of corruption on reelection disappears as public expenditure increases.
Keywords: Corruption, Reelection, Rouba mas Faz, Brazil
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