STEG Working Paper Series Research Theme 5: Political Economy and Public Investment

Political Power, Elite Control, and Long-Run Development: Evidence from Brazil

WP022 FerrazFinanMartinezBravo PoliticalPowerEliteControlAndLongRunDevelopment.pdf

PDF DOCUMENT • 737.15 KB

PoliticalPowerEliteControlAndLongRunDevelopment.jpeg

This paper analyzes how changes in the concentration of political power affect long-run development. We study Brazil’s military dictatorship whose rise to power dramatically altered the distribution of power of local political elites. We document that municipalities that were more politically concentrated prior to the dictatorship in the 1960s are relatively richer in 2000, despite being poorer initially. Our evidence suggests that this reversal of fortune was the result of the military’s policies aimed at undermining the power of traditional elites. These policies increased political competition locally, which ultimately led to better governance, more public goods, and higher income levels.

Related content

STEG Working Paper Series

Bureaucratic Nepotism

Juan Felipe Riaño • Research Theme 5: Political Economy and Public Investment
STEG Working Paper Series

Financing Costs and Development

Tiago Cavalcanti, Joseph P. Kaboski, Bruno Martins, Cezar Santos • Research Theme 0: Data, Measurement, and Conceptual Framing
STEG Working Paper Series

Misallocation and Product Choice

Stepan Gordeev, Sudhir Singh • Research Theme 3: Agricultural Productivity and Sectoral Gaps
STEG Working Paper Series

Paternalistic Discrimination

Nina Buchmann, Carl Meyer, Colin D. Sullivan • Research Theme 1: Firms, Frictions and Spillovers, and Industrial Policy
STEG Working Paper Series

Self-employment Within the Firm

Vittorio Bassi, Jung Hyuk Lee, Alessandra Peter, Tommaso Porzio, Ritwika Sen, Esau Tugume • Research Theme 1: Firms, Frictions and Spillovers, and Industrial Policy
STEG Project Policy Brief

Paternalistic Discrimination

Nina Buchmann, Carl Meyer, Colin D. Sullivan • Research Theme 0: Data, Measurement, and Conceptual Framing