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ItemElectoral systems, competition, and incentives for corruption(2018) Mignozzetti, Umberto G.What is the effect of electoral rules on political corruption? While the influence of electoral systems on accountability and representation has been widely studied, the link between electoral systems and corruption remains sparse. This paper develops a model for the interplay between corruption and electoral rules, considering the incentives for challengers to expose the corruption undertaken by the incumbents. I identify two major components: first, rules that increase competition create incentives for freeriding, as challengers would prefer that other challengers pay the cost of exposure. Second, larger district sizes create coordination problems, as the same incumbent may be overexposed, while others were not exposed at all. These characteristics make a mix of high competitiveness and PR the worst system regarding incentives for corruption. I show that these predictions hold empirically using quasi-experimental data from Brazilian municipalities. This study has implications for the design of electoral institutions. ItemInstitutional determinants of democratic survival(2018) Mignozzetti, Umberto G.How institutions influence the survival of democracies? In this paper, I consider a model of democracy that incorporates institutional features in the classical income redistribution models. The article starts with a moderator analysis that shows a strong influence of institutions on the income-democracy relationship. In the theoretical model I consider three components that moderate the distribution tensions: first, redistributive inefficiencies, such as leakage in taxation, income misreporting, corruption, or dead-weight losses. Second, the possibility of electoral manipulation, such as frauds, political violence, party bans, and legal restrictions to political participation. Lastly, binding judicial limitations on the redistributive capability, such as the existence of an independent judiciary that oversees the government decisions. I show that inefficiencies and electoral manipulation increase the chances of a democratic breakdown while some levels of institutional checks and balances may be beneficial for democratic survival. This paper has implications for understanding the recent democratic backsliding in developing democracies around the world. ItemInvestment capacity and the electoral marketplace: evidence from Brazil(2019) Araújo, Victor; Izumi, Maurício; Limongi Neto, Fernando Papaterra; Mignozzetti, Umberto G.The importance of money in elections is a hallmark of contemporary democracies. In this paper, we study how investment capacity, defined as the resources remaining after the municipality perform the mandatory expenditures, influences elections in Brazil. We theorize that when a politician wins the election in a low investment capacity municipality, this generates commitment problems, as new mayors are unable to reward the firms that contributed to their campaigns, influencing the next elections. We test these claims by considering a close-elections regression discontinuity design coupled with heterogeneous quantile effects for Brazilian municipalities between 2000 and 2012. We find that incumbent mayors in towns with low investment capacity receive less campaign donation afterward and are more disadvantaged in their reelection contests. The results are robust to design variations and changes in party labels or mayoral characteristics. Our findings have implications for the influence of money on politics in democratic countries. ItemLegislature size and welfare: evidence from Brazil(2019) Mignozzetti, Umberto G.; Cepaluni, GabrielWhat is the effect of legislature size on public service provision? While the literature relates legislature size to representation and government expenditure, its implications for welfare remain understudied. In this paper, we investigate the effects of legislature size on welfare, exploiting exogenous changes in city-council size in Brazil between 2005 and 2008. We show that adding a legislator improves education and health care. However, the results prove true for the services that are believed to be highly salient to voters and are easiest to claim credit for. In this sense, education quality and preventive health care remain unaffected while primary school enrollment and infant mortality significantly improve. To investigate the mechanism, we surveyed former councilors and analyzed 346,553 bills proposed by municipalities in the period. This analysis largely corroborates our findings, showing that politicians prefer to provide private and local public goods. This paper has implications for the design of legislative institutions.