Abstract in English:Using a factor decomposition of the Gini coefficient, we measure the contribution to inequality of direct monetary income flows to and from the Brazilian State. The income flows from the State include public sector workers' earnings, Social Security pensions, unemployment benefits, and Social Assistance transfers. The income flows to the State comprise direct taxes and employees' social security contributions. Data come from the Brazilian POF 2008–09. We do not measure indirect contributions to inequality of subsidies granted to and taxation of companies, nor the in-kind provision of goods and services. The results indicate that the State contributes to a large share of family per capita income inequality. Incomes associated with work in the public sector—wages and pensions—are concentrated and regressive. Components related to the private sector are also concentrated, but progressive. Contrary to what has been found in European countries, public spending associated with work and social policies is concentrated in an elite group of workers and, taken as a whole, tends to increase income inequality. Redistributive mechanisms that could reverse this inequality, such as taxes and social assistance, are very progressive but proportionally small. Consequently, their effect is completely offset by the regressive income flows from the State.
Abstract in English:This article assesses the effectiveness of the 2010 Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for addressing "biopiracy" of genetic resources; that is, their biotechnological utilization in violation of either the provider country legislation or mutually agreed contractual obligations. Biopiracy is defined as a problem resulting from a distributive conflict between provider and user countries, the practical difficulties of monitoring the utilization of genetic resources in a transnational context, and the pervasive scientific uncertainty about the nature and extent of the problem. The Nagoya Protocol predominantly focuses on compliance management while lacking the necessary enforcement provisions for deterring non-compliance through effective monitoring and sanctions. Using the example of recent European Union implementing legislation, this article underscores how parties may use the Protocol's legal ambiguities to soften its regulatory impact on domestic industry. As a result, in light of both problem structure and regime design, the Protocol only offers modest improvements over the status quo ante.
Abstract in English:This article deals with an issue as yet little explored in the vast literature about political participation: the role of corruption in political engagement. It investigates whether the coexistence, the values and the perception of citizens in relation to corrupt practices and actors have effects on political activism, and it verifies the direction in which this is evolving, whether it is in the direction of engagement in or withdrawal from politics. The unit of analysis is the individual, the geographic sector includes the Americas and the Caribbean, and the time frame includes biennial intervals between 2004 and 2012. A theoretical discussion and empirical analysis of the data from the Americas Barometer is used. Five distinct types of political participation were identified: contact with political and governmental actors, community activism, partisan and electoral activism, voter turnout and protest activism. The article concludes that the experience with corruption and the tolerance for bribe increase the chances of engagement in participative activities, going against the principal contributions of the specialized literature.
Abstract in English:This study explores the effects of electoral rules on political polarization in the legislative branch of government. Since in Brazil the districts are also the states, and senators are chosen according to the plurality-majority rule while representatives are determined by a proportional rule, the comparison between legislative chambers enables one to test whether the plurality-majority rule induces politicians to behave less moderately, and whether the proportional rule has the opposite effect. To estimate these effects, roll call data from 1988 to 2010 was analyzed and legislators' ideal points were estimated using WNOMINATE. Evidence in favor of the hypothesis was found, although not in every circumstance.
Abstract in English:Several recently published studies analyze the effects of national conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs, such as the Brazilian Bolsa Família and the Mexican Oportunidades, on presidential elections. Most of them show that these programs boost incumbents' electoral support among the poor. This research note is the first scholarly attempt to investigate this phenomenon at a lower-level unit of a federal state, by assessing the impact of a municipal cash transfer program on a mayoral election. Specifically, it investigates whether Renda Mínima, the cash transfer program of the city of Sao Paulo, affected beneficiaries' electoral behavior in favor of the incumbent candidate in the 2004 mayoral election. This note analyzes survey data from CEBRAP/IBOPE and shows that cash transfers did, indeed, affect beneficiaries' behavior in the predicted direction, but only in cases where they did not benefit from any other CCT program, such as the federal Bolsa Família or the São Paulo state Renda Cidadã. These results suggest that the pro-incumbent effect of CCT programs may be diluted by similar programs launched by governments at other tiers of a federation, even if they are led by the same party.