Electoral Accountability and Governor´s Elections in Brazil; 1990-2006.


The scholarship on the accountability of local incumbents usually focuses on two main hypotheses. The first, the sub-national vote, argues that voters rely mostly on information on incumbent’s local performance. The second hypothesis, the referendum vote, argues that is voters´ decision give more weight to national aspects, particularly their assessment of the president’s performance. In this last case, the electoral fate of local incumbents would be determined by aspects outside their reach. In this paper we test those two hypotheses for the Brazilian case using a data set on 131 governor’s elections for the 27 Brazilian states between 1990 and 2006. To our knowledge, this is the first time these two hypotheses are tested in a multiparty context, since previous studies focused mainly on two-party systems.

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