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Electoral strategies and public policies: what is the importance of municipalities?

Abstract

This project maintains the general theme of subnational politics from the previous FAPESP grant. It advances these themes by adding new objectives and new methodological approaches. The novelty focuses on party brokers (local electoral intermediaries) and their effect on party electoral performance. The research will identify brokers in different ways. We measure the effects of their actions on the electoral performance of their respective parties in the municipality and the formation of proportional candidate lists in both state and municipal elections. The study of electoral and party relations between municipalities and states offers a unique opportunity for comparative research. The international literature on brokers tends to analyze countries with no institutionalized local power or electoral systems different from the Brazilian open-list proportional system. The existence of relevant local authorities and the open-list would align incentives through the party link, minimizing the brokers' monitoring problems that have plagued the literature. Likewise, the research will take advantage of the opportunity to identify party brokers through electoral and administrative data, something rare in studies on the subject. The geographic granularity of electoral data and administrative records - TSE, Census, RAIS, and Câmara dos Deputados - and the variation provided by the study of municipalities offers a unique opportunity for theoretical and comparative advances. In addition to quantitative analyses, the research will require methodological advances to explore spatial variations, qualitative approaches, and survey experiments. The proposal also analyzes the provision of municipal public services, first, through an analysis of the effects of patronage on public health services in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Then by analyzing the implementation of urban public policies as electoral strategies. The project will focus on urban public policies, such as paving and sidewalk building, whose implementation shows a more significant variation among municipalities than policies regulated by the federal government. Given the availability of data, the focus of this last part will be on the city of São Paulo; however, the general approach of the project, where policy decisions are influenced and seek to influence electoral results, could be easily extended to other large municipalities. In the end, a better understanding of public policy choices based on their adequacy to legislators' electoral objectives should help in having more realistic scenarios and the possibility of policy reforms. (AU)

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