When Do Politicians Appeal Broadly? The Economic Consequences of Electoral Rules in Brazil
- American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (Forthcoming)
Electoral rules determine how voters’ preferences are aggregated
and translated into political representation. Using a regression discontinuity
design, I contrast single- and two-round elections in
Brazil. In two-round elections, the eventual winner must obtain
at least 50% of the vote. I show that two-round elections provide
incentives for candidates to secure a broader base of support and
provide public goods more broadly. Candidates represent a more
geographically diverse group of voters, public schools have more
resources, and there is less variation in resources across schools.
Effects appear to be driven by strategic responses of candidates,
rather than differential entry into races.
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