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Abstract

BAKER, Andy. Free-Market Reform and Presidential Approval: The Politicization of Economic Policy Debates in Brazil. Dados [online]. 2002, vol.45, n.1, pp. 39-76. ISSN 0011-5258.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0011-52582002000100003.

To date, political scientists have argued that Brazilians' attitudes about neoliberal reforms play no role in mass political behavior or political assessments. In this paper, I provide evidence that Brazilians do politicize economic policy debates. Data from a January 1998 survey demonstrate that mass attitudes about privatization, foreign direct investment and free trade influenced citizens' evaluations of the Fernando Henrique Cardoso presidency. Moreover, there is no evidence to support the conventional wisdom that less educated Brazilians are less rational and coherent when it comes to evaluating their president.

Keywords : economic policy; neoliberal reforms; political assessments; political behavior; electorate.

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