a1 Washington University, St. Louis
Why is Brazil's legislature extraordinarily active in the distribution of pork barrel but largely inactive on national issues? This article explores the question by illuminating the motivations of congressional deputies. Emphasizing the effects of open-list proportional representation and executive dominance over resources, I develop a model of legislative voting based on the operation of Brazil's political institutions. The nature of deputies' electoral bases, especially the clustering of their support and their domination of local constituencies, constrain deputies' preferences. Ideological positions matter as well, but the socioeconomic characteristics of constituencies only weakly affect legislative voting. Pork-barrel programs controlled by the president also profoundly influence deputies' broader voting patterns. When the motivations of deputies favor deals maximizing local pork barrel and discourage strengthening parties and responding to broader constituency demands, it is no surprise that the legislature devotes little attention to national issues.
(Accepted October 22 1993)
(Received July 21 1994)
Barry Ames is professor of political science, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130–4899.