Hidalgo, F.D., and R. Lima-de-Oliveira, 2016. “Elite Contestation and Mass Participation in Brazilian Legislative Elections, 1945-2014” in New Order and Progress: Development and Democracy in Brazil, Ben Ross Schneider (ed), Oxford University Press, 2016.

Renato Lima de Oliveira | ASB Faculty | Research Paper


Discipline: Political Science; Public Policy


In this chapter, we examine the evolution of elite competition and mass participation in elections to the Chamber of Deputies. Drawing upon newly compiled historical data on elections between 1945 and 2010, we investigate historical changes to the de facto extent of suffrage and political inequality among elites over 17 legislative elections. Overall, we find that increasing mass participation has been accompanied by decreasing political competition, specifically in the form of increasing electoral returns to incumbency.