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    Vertical transfers and the appropriation of resources by the bureaucracy: the case of Brazilian state governments
    (ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia, 2006) Moura Neto, João Silva; Marconi, Nelson; Palombo, Paulo Eduardo Moledo; Arvate, Paulo Roberto
    The Brazilian grant system was built by the federal government aiming to reduce economic and social inequalities in the federation, by transferring income from rich states to poor states. However, due to the lack of control and mechanisms for assessing the use of this public resource, these transfers may be appropriated by the bureaucracy as wage increases, for example. In order to observe this appropriation, we use the wage differential between the public and private sector in the states as a proxy, which is calculated using the technique developed by Oaxaca (1973). We do not use the ratio between wage expenses and total current expenses as proxy, because the results of this measure show no significant differences between rich and poor states. Our initial estimation was made with yearly panel data from 1995 to 2004, using the least squares dummy variables method (LSDV).
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    Distribuição regional do crédito bancário e convergência no crescimento estadual brasileiro
    (ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia, 2004) Alexandre, Michel; Biderman, Ciro; Lima, Gilberto Tadeu
    The aim of this paper is to analyze the convergence in the growth rates among Brazilian States in the period 1988-2001. In addition to the traditional variables used in the studies about convergence, Brazilian States credit indicators were included, which is the very innovation of this study. The results show that, in general, credit increases the speed of convergence, although some kinds of directed credit generate the inverse effect. This suggests that credit has a positive impact in the growth of Brazilian States. Furthermore, the credit variable that was more effective in the convergence analysis is loans and bonds discounted in relation to the State income. As it turns out, this variable is likely to be a suitable proxy for the level of financial development of a State.
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    Oligarquia e processos de oligarquização: um problema institucional das organizações
    (2010-08) Couto, Cláudio Gonçalves
    O termo “oligarquia” perdeu boa parte de sua utilidade analítica na ciência política em virtude de seu uso pouco rigoroso, tornando-se mais um adjetivo de aplicação subjetivamente orientada do que um conceito instrumentalizável para a pesquisa empírica e a reflexão teórica. Este trabalho visa contribuir para a fixação de um conceito de oligarquia dotado não só de clareza terminológica, mas também – e até por isto mesmo – de serventia para a pesquisa empírica. Para tanto, propõe-se a elaboração de um modelo institucional de análise que permita identificar e explicar processos de oligarquização de organizações particulares da vida social e política, compreendendo sua lógica institucional de modo a entender como a vida coletiva organizada freqüentemente passa a operar de um modo destoante dos princípios de legitimação válidos para determinadas coletividades, capturadas por oligarquias.
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    The predatory or virtuous choices governors make: the roles of checks and balances and political competition
    (2008) Alston, Lee J.; Melo, Marcus André B. C. de; Mueller, Bernardo Pinheiro Machado; Pereira Filho, Carlos Eduardo Ferreira
    States usually differ markedly in terms of public goods provision and corruption. Why are some state governments able to provide adequate health and education services, but others tend to specialize in the provision of private goods such as public sector jobs and targeted transfers to specific clienteles? Why are some states better capable of promoting economic development while others allow stagnation? Why is corruption more prevalent in some states than in others? Why are some states more efficient in the provision of publicly-provided goods and service than others? Exploring the idea that political institutions are important determinants of the policies implemented in states, we propose a model of the policymaking process and then test its implications with state-level data for the period 1999 to 2006 in Brazil. The focus of the empirical tests is on the impact of political competition and checks & balances on the characteristics of the policies that emerge in the states. Political competition has important virtuous effects on the choices made by governors and other political actors by determining how long they expect to be in power, what they can do while in power, and at what costs. We develop an index of checks & balances for Brazilian states and test the interaction of checks & balances with political competition. We found that the impact of political competition varies with the degree of checks & balances.
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    Spatial distribution of local economic performance: empirical analysis of employment, income and poverty in Brazilian municipalities
    (2007) Biderman, Ciro; Igliori, Danilo C.
    Local economies within a country differ substantially in their economic performance and such differences might persist over long periods of time. Increasing concern with regional disparities and poverty levels have prompted a growing interest in understanding factors giving some places better conditions for enhancing performance and overcoming development challenges. In particular, researchers and policy makers have been trying to investigate the potential roles of public policy at local level. Here, the key question relates to the capability of local governments in significantly impacting their realities despite their historic, economic, social and geographical constraints. The central aim of this paper is to empirically investigate the factors influencing local development across Brazilian municipalities, emphasizing the role of local public policy. To do that we adopt spatial econometric models inspired by growth theory and by some recent development of spatial economics. Our results contribute to the identification of determinants of local economic development measured by three variables, namely employment change, income per capita change and the change in the population below the poverty line. From the empirical estimates evidence is provided regarding the factors suggested by the recent literature on growth, development and spatial economics.
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    An archipelago of excellence?: autonomous capacity among Brazilian state agencies
    (2012-02) Bersch, Katherine Schlosser; Praça, Sérgio; Taylor, Matthew M.
    Drawing on the Brazilian case, this paper develops a new measure of state capacity for evaluating the performance of specific bureaucratic agencies within national states. The measure, which is made possible by the rising availability of online information about government personnel, permits a nuanced evaluation of influential theoretical questions regarding developmental capacity, state autonomy, and the politicization of state bureaucracies. We first set out a basic definition of state capacity, distinguishing it from other related concepts and definitions in the social science literature. We then present an objective new measure, the State Capacity Index (SCI), which evaluates state agencies on three axes: career strength, agency career specialization, and politicization. We conclude with some preliminary tests of the measure‘s utility in analyzing agency level capacity in Brazil, with specific reference to the literature on corruption and accountability.
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    Do political budget cycles differ in Latin American democracies?
    (2010) Barberia, Lorena Guadalupe; Avelino Filho, George
    We test for political budget cycles in a panel of eighteen Latin American democracies from 1973 to 2008. Recent studies have argued that the pattern of deficit cycles in a large cross-section of countries is driven by the experience of ‘‘new democracies.” As a large share of the countries that underwent democratization during this period are in Latin America, we seek to verify if these patterns are robust using an updated data set on fiscal expenditures, democratization and elections. Our results suggest that there are important differences when objective judgment and observational criteria of democracy and democratic transitions are employed in comparison to measures that rely on vague and arbitrary operational rules. Furthermore, we show that the deficit cycle in transitional Latin American democracies appears to be driven by lower election-year revenue collection rather than an increase in public expenditures.
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    Opportunistic political cycles and social spending: an examination of transition and consolidated democracies in Latin America
    (2009) Barberia, Lorena Guadalupe; Avelino Filho, George
    In this paper, we show that education, health and social security expenditures did not increase during elections. Based on a panel of fifteen Latin American democracies from 1973 to 2000, we show that there are important increases in social spending in the inaugural year of a new presidential administration. We argue that social policy is used by Latin American democracies as an instrument to reward voters after winners enter office and not as a tool to manipulate outcomes before elections as commonly argued in the literature.
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    Social spending and elections: an examination of Latin American third wave democracies, 1980-2008
    (2011-08) Barberia, Lorena Guadalupe; Avelino Filho, George
    During the period in which Latin America underwent the most lasting and widespread wave of democratization, we test whether governments targeted increases in social spending to coincide with presidential elections in a panel of eighteen Latin American democracies from 1980 to 2008. Results confirm that governments increase health and social security expenditures during elections and that democracies that were most apt to channel increases in social spending to coincide with elections were those in the transition stage of democratization.
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    Accountability behind closed doors?: legislator power and voting procedures
    (2010) Buttò, Michele; Pereira Filho, Carlos Eduardo Ferreira; Taylor, Matthew M.
    Accountability is important as a means of punishing wrongdoers, improving public confidence in the political system, and deterring potential lawbreakers. But to what extent is the likelihood of accountability an outcome of group interactions and institutional rules? Is the likelihood of accountability within a legislature contingent on the power of legislators or on the publicity given to scandal? Do voting rules that encourage secrecy help to compensate for power differences between legislators or instead lead to backroom dealings that hurt accountability? The paper proceeds in three parts. In the first, we present a basic game theoretic model of congressional efforts to punish dirty peers in a prototypical lower house of a bicameral Congress. In the second, we test some of our basic findings using data from recent scandals and subsequent efforts to ensure accountability in the Brazilian lower house of Congress, the Câmara dos Deputados. In the third, we use an agent-based model to explore some of the theoretical implications of these empirical findings for the smooth functioning of accountability processes in Brazil and beyond.
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    Altruísmo e competição inter-geracional: o impacto do envelhecimento da população nos gastos em educação dos municípios brasileiros
    (2008) Zoghbi, Ana Carolina Pereira; Arvate, Paulo Roberto
    In this work, we tried to test two hypotheses for the Brazilian municipalities on the relationship between the aging of the population an educational expenditures. The first is that the increase of the elderly share reduces the educational expenditure, according to consensus of the recent empirical literature. The second is that we should observe intergenerational altruism if there is a co-residence relationship among elderly and youths. Thus, a greater share of elderly and youth living together should increase the expenditure in education. This last hypothesis is the new element that we tried to introduce in the literature. To test the hypotheses of this work we use panel data from 1991 and 2000 Population Census (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) and from Finbra (National Treasury Office). We considered the endogeneity possibility due to the Tiebout mechanism for individual’s location. To deal with this problem we used the Fixed Effects method with instrumental variables. The econometric results indicated that an increase in the share of elderly reduces the educational expenditure per youth, which supports the results of the main studies of the literature. Besides, the results also support the existence of intergenerational altruism in Brazil because as an increase in the share of elderly co-residing with youth raises the educational expenditure. Therefore, the results confirm the hypotheses of the paper and also reveal the importance of elderly family arrangements in determining the educational expenditure.
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    Electoral accountability and governors´ election in Brazil, 1990-2006
    (2010) Avelino Filho, George; Barone, Leonardo Sangali
    The scholarship on the accountability of local incumbents usually focuses on two main hypotheses. The first, the sub-national vote, argues that voters rely mostly on information on incumbent’s local performance. The second hypothesis, the referendum vote, argues that is voters´ decision give more weight to national aspects, particularly their assessment of the president’s performance. In this last case, the electoral fate of local incumbents would be determined by aspects outside their reach. In this paper we test those two hypotheses for the Brazilian case using a data set on 131 governor’s elections for the 27 Brazilian states between 1990 and 2006. To our knowledge, this is the first time these two hypotheses are tested in a multiparty context, since previous studies focused mainly on two-party systems. Our results show no support for the referendum hypothesis, as national variables did not have any effect on the probability of governors´ reelection. Among the local variables, there is a negative effect from state fiscal deficits, a result that contradicts usual expectations on new democracies.
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    Estimating the impact of participatory budget on observed outcomes
    (2008) Biderman, Ciro; Silva, Glauco Peres da
    This paper tests whether the Participatory Budget (OP) adopted by some municipalities in Brazil had any impact on the municipality efficiency or on income distribution using a quasi experimental approach. The results are mixed but they do show that OP municipalities may be deteriorating the quality of the health service delivery with no positive impact on the fiscal performance of the municipality. One explanatory hypothesis is that the program was dominated by groups of interest that are capturing more rent from the state than the former coalition. On the other hand there are some evidences of an improving in the efficiency of public education service what would confirm the alternative hypothesis that the OP broke the collusion between bureaucrats and the elite.
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    Indicadores para avaliar o comportamento parlamentar como resultante de eleições
    (2009) Silva, Glauco Peres da; Biderman, Ciro; Avelino Filho, George
    Este artigo propõe a utilização de três indicadores adaptados da Economia Regional a fim de caracterizar a concentração de votos em eleições proporcionais em distritos multimembros. Os índices propostos são confrontados com os mais utilizados pela literatura de forma a demonstrar a capacidade dos primeiros em registrar de fato concentração eleitoral e, assim, mensurar a relevância das eleições sobre o comportamento parlamentar. Estas informações são importantes, pois a literatura tradicional assume a existência de distritos eleitorais informais que seriam dominados politicamente pelos deputados federais. Os resultados com os novos índices mostram que são poucos os deputados que recebem votação concentrada em São Paulo, ainda que haja correlação espacial dos votos para quase todos parlamentares, e também sugerem não haver evidências da dominância local dos deputados federais paulistas.
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    Determinants of patronage and policy-making positions in the Brazilian federal bureaucracy, 2007-2011
    (2011) Praça, Sérgio; Freitas, Andréa Marcondes de; Hoepers, Bruno
    Research on the relationship between the Executive and the Legislative in Brazil has generated a voluminous literature that sheds important light on our understanding of the policy-making process in Brazil and the relationship between the Executive and the political parties in Congress. However, little is known about how the bureaucracy is used as a tool for political patronage and its overall role in the policy-making. We aim to advance the understanding of this phenomena by studying which factors explain the distribution of political appointee positions in the Brazilian federal bureaucracy among political parties. By using an unique panel dataset and applying an One-Way Random Effects GLS regression model we found that the number of seats a party has in the lower Chamber, the party’s appointment of a cabinet minister, and being from the same party as the president’s (formateur party) play a fundamental role at explaining why some parties are more able to fill political appointees’ positions with their party members in the bureaucracy than others. These findings lend credence to the idea that appointments in the Brazilian bureaucracy can be better understood as “coalition goods” (by establishing an exchange baseline between the partisent’s party and the parties in the coalition) instead of “exchange goods” (as tools that help cover the ongoing costs of holding together the coalition).