New paper by Rodrigo Schneider: “Winners and Losers of the Ballot: Electronic vs. Traditional Paper Voting Systems in Brazil” in Latin American Politics and Society

Rodrigo Schneider (Skidmore College and EPRG) has published the paper: “Electronic vs. Traditional Paper Voting Systems in Brazil” in Latin American Politics and Society.

The paper shows that the introduction of electronic voting in Brazil let to a concentration of voter shares among viable candidates, away from nonviable ones.

Please check the entire paper here. The access is free for a short period. Please find the abstract below:

Scholars concur that free and fair elections are essential for proper democratic functioning, but our understanding of the political effects of democratic voting systems is incomplete. This article mitigates the gap by exploiting the gradual transformation of voting systems and ballot structures in Brazil’s 1998 executive elections to study the relationship between voting systems and viable and nonviable candidates’ vote shares, using regression discontinuity design. It finds that the introduction of electronic voting concentrated vote shares among viable candidates and thus exhibited electoral bias. We posit that this result occurred because viable candidates were better able to communicate the information that electronic voters needed to cast valid ballots than were their nonviable counterparts. The article uses survey data to demonstrate that electronic voters responded to changes in ballot design and internalized the information viable candidates made available to them.

Seminar at Vanderbilt University on Friday, February 14th, 2020

CSDI seminar – Friday, February 14th – Mauricio Bugarin


The next CSDI seminar is scheduled for Friday, February 14th with a presentation by Mauricio Bugarin, University of Brasilia, on “Attitude towards risk and preference for social insurance: A note on ‘Earnings inequality and welfare spending’ by Moene and Wallerstein.”

His talk will begin at 12:10pm in Commons 349.


Shannon Meldon-Corney
Program Coordinator
Center For the Study of Democratic Institutions
Department of Political Science, Vanderbilt University
Commons Center 301
230 Appleton Place, PMB 505
Nashville, Tennessee 37203-5721

Contagem regressiva: 6 dias para o 7o. EPRG

Atenção: Faltam 6 dias para o início do Sétimo Encontro Anual do EPRG, que começa na segunda, 16/12/2019 com muitas novidades!

Vejam o convite e o programa detalhado abaixo, ou clique aqui.

Call for papers and book launch submission: 7th Annual Meeting of the EPRG


Artigo sobre TAC de conversão de dívida em inventimento da ANATEL aceito para publicação na Revista do Serviço Público

O artigo intitulado “Leilões para conversão de dívida em investimento: Uma proposta da teoria de leilões para implantação dos Termos de Ajuste de Conduta (TAC) da ANATEL” foi aceito para publicação na Revista do Serviço Público. Coautor: Hélio M. M. da Fonseca.

Resumo: Desde a privatização da TELEBRÁS em 1998, o Brasil tem assistido a uma impressionante expansão nas telecomunicações. Paralelamente, cresceram assustadoramente as dívidas das operadoras de telecomunicação, com elevadas multas regulatórias. Em 2012 a ANATEL aprovou a celebração de termos de ajustamento de conduta (TAC) para conversão de dívida das operadoras em projetos de investimento. A questão crucial é como determinar a taxa de conversão. Este trabalho propõe um mecanismo de leilão para a determinação endógena dessa taxa. Nesse leilão as operadoras propõem taxas de conversão de dívida em um certo investimento, e a operadora que oferecer a taxa mais baixa (menos reais de dívida deduzidos para cada real investido) vence o leilão. Ademais, discute como a estrutura sequencial do problema permite desenhar um mecanismo inédito de leilões sequenciais que tem a característica de criar assimetria entre os jogadores, gerando maior bem-estar social e garantindo a implementação dos projetos selecionados.

Veja aqui o working paper que originou esse paper.

Veja aqui ( os demais artigos aceitos recentemente para publicação.

Working paper on staggered terms for the Central Banker and the President published in the Brazilian Central Bank Working Paper Series

The working paper Elections, Heterogeneity of Central Bankers and Inflationary Pressure: the case for staggered terms for the president and the central banker”, co-authored with Fábia A. de Carvalho, was published on September 23, 2019 in the Brazilian Central Bank’s Working Paper Series No. 501.

Non-technical Summary

In most countries that adopt the inflation targeting regime, inflation targets are not set independently by the central bank. Even when there are compliance mechanisms, it is not assured that the central banker will be fully committed with achieving the inflation target. This paper investigates the role of central bank heterogeneity, of inflation targets and of central bank credibility in inflation expectations’ formation when society is imperfectly informed about central banker’s commitment to the target. We look into this problem by extending Vickers (1986)’s and Cukierman e Liviatan (1991)’s signaling models, and applying Cho and Kreps (1987) solution criterion as an equilibrium refinement.

The model solution suggests that greater heterogeneity in central bankers’ commitment to the inflation target requires costlier disinflationary policies. In other words, greater dispersion regarding the preferences of potential central bankers requires that a “strong” central banker be tougher on delivered inflation rates so as to convince society that he is indeed committed to achieving the targets. In the set of equilibria where he manages to gain credibility, realized inflation tends to be below the target, at a higher cost for economic activity.

In an extension of the model presented in the first part of the paper, we investigate how institutional arrangements regarding the tenure in office of central bankers and the head of government can mitigate inflationary pressures stemming from electoral processes. We analyze two distinct institutional arrangements: one where the head of government nominates the central banker as soon as he takes office, and another where the head of government and the central banker serve in staggered terms. In the latter case, when the head of government takes office, the central banker is at the beginning of his third year in office.

The main result suggests that macroeconomic adjustment to the pressures from the political process is much less costly when the head of government and the central banker serve in staggered terms. This result originates from the reduction of information asymmetry about monetary policy when society already knows the type of the central banker by the time the new head of government takes office. This finding gives support to a framework that is common among independent central banks: staggered terms to the central banker and the head of government.

Paper on Enfranchisement and Fiscal Policy accepted for publication in Economics of Governance

The journal Economics of Governance accepted the paper “Does Enfranchisement Affect Fiscal Policy? Theory and Empirical Evidence on Brazil” for publication on September 30, 2019. The paper is co-authored with Rodrigo Schneider and Diloá Arias.


This paper studies the effect of political participation on public spending at the local level in Brazil. In particular, we look at the phased-in im- plementation of electronic voting in the late 1990s—which enfranchised poorer voters by decreasing the number of invalid votes—to identify the causal effect of political participation on public spending. We build a theoretical political economy model which allows voters to cast, not purposefully, an invalid vote, and show that when poorer voters’ likelihood of casting a valid vote increases, public social spending increases as well. We test this prediction empirically using a difference-in-differences model where municipalities using electronic voting constitute our treatment group. We find that an increase of 1 percent- age point in the valid vote to turnout ratio for state representatives increases health spending by 1.8%; education by 1.4%; public employment by 1.25%; intergovernmental transfers by 1%; and local taxes by 2.6%.

Keywords: Electronic voting · Political participation · Social public spending · Difference-in-differences

JEL Classification: H21, H4, H5, H7