Voting technology, political responsiveness, and infant health: Evidence from Brazil

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Abstract

This paper studies the introduction of electronic voting technology in Brazilian elections. Estimates exploiting a regression discontinuity design indicate that electronic voting reduced residual (error-ridden and uncounted) votes and promoted a large de facto enfranchisement of mainly less educated citizens. Estimates exploiting the unique pattern of the technology's phase-in across states over time suggest that, as predicted by political economy models, it shifted government spending toward health care, which is particularly beneficial to the poor. Positive effects on both the utilization of health services (prenatal visits) and newborn health (low-weight births) are also found for less educated mothers, but not for the more educated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-464
Number of pages42
JournalEconometrica
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

Keywords

  • Enfranchisement
  • Infant health
  • Political responsiveness
  • Voting technology

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