Palestrante: Natalia Bueno (Yale University/Emory University)
Título: The Uses of Distributive Politics: Programmatic Brand Policies and Pork-Barrel Politics in Brazil
Local: Sala G-1 (FEA 1)
Responsável: Raphael Corbi (FEA-USP)
Realização: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Economia
The received scholarly wisdom is that the shift from discretionary to programmatic policies is a result of rising literacy, access to information, and economic growth. For example, presidents in developing countries are often characterized as ``patrons-in-chief.'' They allocate resources particularistically, handing out public resources to co-partisans, and co-ethnics to advance their own electoral interests. In sharp contrast, most studies about the presidency in the United States held presidents as universalists who seek to maximize the general electorate's welfare. In this paper, I argue that rather than a function of socioeconomic development, the design and implementation of either programmatic or discretionary policies is an electoral strategy. Furthermore, presidents in developing countries concurrently implement both programmatic and discretionary social policies. Presidents, thus, reap the most electoral rewards from developing a mix of both programmatic and particularistic policies. Using regression discontinuity-designs with data from Brazil, I show that the coexistence of particularistic and universalistic non-entitlement policies, regardless of issue area, electoral period, voters' socioeconomic status, and state capacity. Using survey data, I make the claim that presidents use programmatic brand policies to accrue direct electoral rewards from voters and discretionary policies to increase their local allies' electoral fortunes which, in turn, help the president.