How Social Policy and Scandal Transformed Brazil's Partido dos Trabalhadores

Thesis Type:

B.A. Thesis


This paper analyzes evidence that the PT’s electoral base has changed over time, posits that the Bolsa Família social welfare program and a 2005 corruption scandal worked together to produce the shift, if it happened, and uses municipal-level data to test a model of voter support for PT candidates in congressional races. It also considers whether the Bolsa program is subject to clientelistic interference. Results suggest that the Bolsa program does increase voter support for the PT at the municipal level, and that this effect has grown larger as the average benefit payment has increased. The provision of conditional benefits to Brazil’s poorest citizens has firmly entrenched a pro-poor discourse likely to remain the norm for the foreseeable future.

University of Michigan Deep Blue Archive Copy

Last updated on 06/13/2013