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

See all articles by Carlos Pereira

Carlos Pereira

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV)

Marcus Andre Melo

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)

Date Written: February 15, 2016

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Pereira, Carlos and Melo, Marcus André, Reelecting Corrupt Incumbents in Exchange for Public Goods: Rouba Mas Faz in Brazil (February 15, 2016). 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. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2423543

Carlos Pereira (Contact Author)

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) ( email )

R. Dr. Neto de Araujo 320 cj 1307
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22250-900
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://ebape.fgv.br/en/faculty-members/carlos-pereira

Marcus André Melo

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) ( email )

Cidade Universitária
Cidade Universitária, Pernambuco 50670-901
Brazil

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