UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Diana Moreira, University of California, Davis

Political Turnover, Bureaucratic Turnover, and the Quality of Public Services

Date and Location

Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 4:10 PM - 5:30 PM
ARE Library Conference Room, 4101 Social Sciences and Humanities


We study how political turnover in mayoral elections in Brazil affects the provision of public education. Exploiting a regression discontinuity design for close elections, we find that municipalities with a new party in office have test scores that are .07 standard deviations lower. Political turnover leads to a sharp increase in the replacement rate of headmasters and teachers in schools controlled by the municipality. In contrast, we show that it does not impact local (non-municipal) schools. These findings suggests that political turnover can adversely affect the quality of public service when the bureaucracy is not shielded from the political process.

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