Working paper 93 available now!


Electronic voting and Public Spending: The impact of enfranchisement on federal budget amendments in Brazil


Rodrigo Schneider (Skidmore College, US)

Diloá Athias (Development Pathways, UK)

Mauricio Bugarin (UnB)



This article examines whether an increase in political participation biased toward low-income voters, and concentrated in legislative elections, impacts federal representatives’ allocation of resources from the federal budget. We use a regression discontinuity design that exploits the assignment to electronic voting based on population size in Brazil to identify the causal effect of enfranchisement on allocation of public spending. We find that an increase of 1 percentage point in the valid vote to turnout ratio for federal representatives increases the allocation of funds from the federal budget in 4.2%, and that experienced politicians are more responsive to the enfranchisement of low-income voters.


Key words: Electronic voting; political participation; politically motivated transfers.



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