Voice, Votes, and Resources: Evaluating the Effect of Participatory Democracy on Well-Being
Participatory governance is said to enhance governance, citizens’ empowerment, and the quality of democracy, creating a virtuous cycle to improve the well-being of the poor. However, there is limited empirical evidence for this relationship. Drawing from an original database of Brazil’s 220 largest cities, we assess whether the adoption of a participatory budgeting (PB) program is associated with changes in social spending or changes in several indicators of well-being. We find that PB municipalities spend a slightly higher share of their budget on health and education programs, but there is little evidence that this shift in budget priorities affects measurable outcomes.
Boulding, Carew and Wampler, Brian. (2010). "Voice, Votes, and Resources: Evaluating the Effect of Participatory Democracy on Well-Being". World Development, 38(1), 125-135. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2009.05.002