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New Order and ProgressDevelopment and Democracy in Brazil$
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Ben Ross Schneider

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190462888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190462888.001.0001

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Federalism, Social Policy, and Reductions in Territorial Inequality in Contemporary Brazil

Federalism, Social Policy, and Reductions in Territorial Inequality in Contemporary Brazil

Chapter:
(p.162) 7 Federalism, Social Policy, and Reductions in Territorial Inequality in Contemporary Brazil
Source:
New Order and Progress
Author(s):

Marta Arretche

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190462888.003.0007

The chapter provides evidence for the statement that federalism and reducing inequality among jurisdictions can go together, even if policy execution is decentralized, provided that interregional revenue redistribution and centralization of policy decision-making are combined. Data for all Brazilian municipalities spanning 2002 to 2012 on self-generated revenues, fiscal transfers, social policy outputs, and social policy outcomes are shown to give empirical support to the argument. It shows that, in contemporary Brazil, place-inequality in redistributive service policies does not mimic place-inequality in GDP per capita and in concentration of poor people. Instead, local governments' spending on health and education is considerably higher and less unequal due to institutional arrangements put in place by the 1988 Federal Constitution and subsequent reforms. As a result, federal rules limit the full discretion of local governments which in turn limit place-inequality. As such, place-inequality in outputs tends to vary within certain bounded intervals.

Keywords:   federalism, policy outcomes, policy outputs, central-local relations, inequality

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