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Essays on the Political Economy of Public Spending: Evidence from Brazil

Senra De Moura, Fernanda; (2022) Essays on the Political Economy of Public Spending: Evidence from Brazil. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

In this thesis, I study the relationship between political institutions and the provision of public goods. The chapter titled “The Role of Parties in the Distribution of Public Funds” studies the role of political parties in explaining inequalities in access to public funds for pork-barrel by federal legislators in Brazil. I find that differences in individual heterogeneity are the main drivers of the observed inequality, which, in turn, is limited by negative sorting of low influence politicians into political parties with higher collective bargaining premiums. In the chapter titled “Gender Gaps in Parliament: Access to Public Funds by Legislators in Brazil”, I show that this pattern is particularly important to explain the outcomes of female legislators. More specifically, I document a gender gap in access to funding and use the estimates from the model to decompose the gender gap into components associated to politician and party heterogeneity. The results suggest that the segregation of women in parties with higher party premiums partially offsets the gender gap. I find evidence that negative sorting is associated to party ideology: left wing parties are more likely to have an advantage in party premiums and members with lower individual influence, while members of centrist and right wing parties have, on average, higher individual fixed effects but lower collective bargaining premiums. The chapter titled “The Heterogeneous Effects of Reelection Incentives: Evidence from Brazil” exploits term limits on mayoral elections in Brazil to study the heterogeneous effects of reelection incentives on the provision and maintenance of water wells in the Brazilian Semiarid area. Using mixed incumbent-challenger close elections, I find causal evidence that mayors running for reelection provide more water wells to citizens as long as the frequency of dry years is sufficiently high.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Essays on the Political Economy of Public Spending: Evidence from Brazil
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10145183
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