Does Opportunism Pay Off?

NIPE Working Paper No. 5/2006

30 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2006

See all articles by Linda G. Veiga

Linda G. Veiga

University of Minho - Economic Policies Research Unit (NIPE)

Francisco José Veiga

Universidade do Minho and NIPE

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2006


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.

Keywords: Voting functions, opportunism, local governments, elections, Portugal

JEL Classification: D72, H72

Suggested Citation

Veiga, Linda G. and Veiga, Francisco José, Does Opportunism Pay Off? (June 2006). NIPE Working Paper No. 5/2006, Available at SSRN: or

Linda G. Veiga (Contact Author)

University of Minho - Economic Policies Research Unit (NIPE) ( email )

Campus de Gualtar
Braga, P-4710-057
+351-253604568 (Phone)
+351-253601380 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://

Francisco José Veiga

Universidade do Minho and NIPE ( email )

Escola de Economia e Gestao
Campus de Gualtar
4710-057 Braga
+351 25 360 4534 (Phone)
+351 253 67 6375 (Fax)


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