Politics and electoral behavior

Considering that electoral politics substantially influence the supply of public policies, this project investigates voting behavior in a metropolitan region. Previous results of investigations undertaken by the Center for Metropolitan Studies showed that voting behavior is highly predictable and related to socio-economic factors. These results, however, were based only on data for the city of São Paulo. This study is one of a kind in the Brazilian literature in terms of methods and data used. Instead of information from surveys, we work with the lowest possible unit of aggregation for election results, namely, the ballot box. Previous findings refer only to São Paulo, the most developed state in the country, where the two major national political parties in the country have deep roots. Thus, one of the objectives is to test if similar results are found in other states. For this reason, the project is expanding the spatial coverage of the investigation by including as many new states as possible. The project continues to employ Gary King’s methodology to identify the electoral base of parties and candidates, which combines electoral data with socio-economic variables. Efforts in this direction have already been made with respect to the pattern of vote distribution in the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro and comparing the results with the ones obtained for the city of São Paulo. Data organization regarding the study of intra-urban electoral behavior has been already completed. Besides differences in the level of wealth, the political history of the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro and its role in national politics are also a contrast to São Paulo. A further objective of the research is to understand the mechanisms that explain the observed voting patterns by applying an empirical test of theoretically oriented hypotheses.


Researchers involved