Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Political Competition and Social Spending in Brazil

October 6th, 2011
5:00 PM

Greenleaf Conference Room, 100a Jones Hall

A Lecture Featuring David Brown

Political Competition & Social Spending in Brazil: a Municipal Level Analysis

How does political competition in local elections affect social spending? Electoral theories of democracy claim elections are one of the main mechanisms to insure government accountability to citizens. But what happens when municipalities vary in resources? What is the relationship between the degree of political competition and the amounts allocated for social spending? Do municipalities with more competitive elections have higher social spending?

Professor David Brown examines these questions by analyzing data on local elections, socio-economic factors, and budgets from more than 5,000 municipalities in Brazil for the years 1996, 2000 and 2004. Such data leads him to the surprising discovery that municipalities with more competitive elections invest less on social spending than municipalities with little political competition. Why is this so? And what role do financial resources play in shaping the dynamics of social spending and political competition?


David Brown is currently the Director of the Center to Advance Research and Teaching in the Social Sciences, associate professor in Political Science and research associate at the Institute for Behavioral Science, all at the University of Colorado. His primary research and teaching interests are in comparative politics, economic development, and Latin American Politics. His previous work, for which he received a grant from the National Science Foundation, involved NGOs and their impact on politics in the Brazilian Amazon. He is currently working on projects related to the Landless Movement (MST) in Brazil, the impact of Wal-Mart on communities in the U.S., and the study of trust and cooperation through the use of online role playing.

Event is free and open to the public but RSVP is required

To RSVP or for more information contact:
Angela Reed or 504.862.3141
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Brazil + People
Daniel Sharp
Associate Professor - Music