Popularity shocks and political selection

We observe that popularity shocks are crucial for electoral accountability beyond their effects on voters' behaviors. By focusing on Brazilian politics, we show that the disclosure of audit reports on the (mis)use of federal funds by local administrators affects the type of candidates who stand for election. When the audit finds low levels of corruption, the parties supporting the incumbent select less-educated candidates. On the contrary, parties pick more-educated candidates when the audit reveals a high level of corruption. These effects are stronger in municipalities that have easier access to local media.


Cavalcanti, F., Daniele, G. and Galletta, S., 2018. Popularity shocks and political selection. Journal of Public Economics, 165, pp.201-216.



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