19, March, 2014
NON-ELLA PUBLICATION

Improving Social Well-Being Through New Democratic Institutions

Using data from Brazil’s largest cities over the last 20 years, Michael Touchton and Brian Wampler evaluate the role of a new type of democratic institution, participatory budgeting (PB), for improving citizens’ well-being.

Short URL for this page:
http://tinyurl.com/nc9zojj
Participatory institutions are said to enhance governance, citizens’ empowerment, and the quality of democracy, creating a virtuous cycle to improve the poor’s well-being. Drawing from an original database of Brazil’s largest cities over the last 20 years, the authors assess whether adopting PB programs influences several indicators of well-being inputs, processes, and outcomes. They find PB programs are strongly associated with increases in health care spending, increases in civil society organizations, and decreases in infant mortality rates. This connection strengthens dramatically as PB programs remain in place over longer time frames. Furthermore, PB’s connection to well-being strengthens in the hand of mayors from the nationally powerful, ideologically and electorally motivated Workers’ Party. Their argument directly addresses debates on democracy and well-being and has powerful implications for participation, governance, and economic development.
 
 

Authors: Michael Touchton, Brian Wampler
Orginal publication date: December 2013
Publisher: Comparative Political Studies (CPS)

Click here to view the complete document in PDF format (Unfortunately this paper is now behind a pay-wall)

 

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Other ELLA knowledge materials relating to Budget and Public Policies:

GUIDES AND BRIEFS

SPOTLIGHT SUMMARIES

MULTIMEDIA

REVIEWS

LEARNING ALLIANCE HIGHLIGHTS

NON-ELLA PUBLICATIONS

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