The effect of reelection intention on public health expenditures

Vol. 30 No. 1 (2010)

jan-Mar / 2010
Published January 1, 2010
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Novaes, Lucas M., and Enlinson Mattos. 2010. “The Effect of Reelection Intention on Public Health Expenditures: An Analysis Based on Reputation Models”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 30 (1):140-58.

The effect of reelection intention on public health expenditures

An analysis based on reputation models

Lucas M. Novaes
Doutorando – University of California, Berkeley, Travers Department of Political Science
Enlinson Mattos
Escola de Economia de São Paulo da Fundação Getulio Vargas – EESP/FGV
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 30 No. 1 (2010), jan-Mar / 2010, Pages 140-158


The political model of reputational-building argues that if the incumbent politician aspires to be reassigned, he/she must act in the voters’ interest to obtain their approval and consequently their votes. Considering that voters are sensitive to public health expenditures, we check how reputational incentives shift municipal spending patterns in electoral years. The empirical tests for 3004 Brazilian municipalities show an increase of health expenditures in those cities in which incumbents are trying to maintain their jobs. In addition, we find an increment in health expenditures where mayors forfeit their chance of being reelected to the benefit of a party mate.

JEL Classification: D72; H51; H72; I18.

Keywords: electoral control reelection political agency