Facultative Voting and the Erosion of the Median Voter Theorem

by Álvaro Rossi, BA Candidate in Economic and Political Science, Columbia University.  

The year of 2016 has been a challenging one for political economists. From the unexpected results of the Brexit and Peace referendums in Great Britain and Colombia respectively, to the unprecedented election of real estate mogul Donald Trump as President of the United States, the past 11 months have presented some of the most unforeseen political events in the last years. Political economists, charged with developing theories behind voting behavior, were shaken with the collective political choices of 2017. Continue reading “Facultative Voting and the Erosion of the Median Voter Theorem”

Confirmation bias and the impeachment: How social media in Brazil helped alienate public opinion

by Fernanda Nogueira, Co-Editor and Writer at Brazil Talk

Over 90% of Brazilians use social media to read the news, and 70% of them have Facebook as their main source[1]. It is a global trend, and it presents serious risks to public participation in politics, for the simple fact that one can select exactly what type of news one wishes to see. Even worse, based on your profile information, social media instruments now develop algorithms that determine what reaches your newsfeed, tailored to your tastes and beliefs[2].  This allows people to avoid opinions with which one would otherwise disagree. This conduct has led to an alienation of public opinion in Brazil and abroad and has divided people into very distant groups in face of recent events, such as the president’s impeachment, hindering real civic participation in such an important time.

Continue reading “Confirmation bias and the impeachment: How social media in Brazil helped alienate public opinion”

Will Dilma Rousseff be able to foster foreign direct investment to save the fiscal package and resume economic growth?

by Cassiano Alves and Leticia Corrêa

On June 28th, President Dilma Rousseff landed in the United States for an official visit, leaving behind an economy in imminent recession and a country in political crisis after the corruption scandal involving state-owned oil company Petrobras.

Speculation over Mrs. Rousseff’s impeachment resurfaced after a national magazine reported that Ricardo Pessoa, the owner of construction company UTC Engenharia, told authorities that the president’s campaign in 2014 received illegal donations. UTC Engenharia is one of the firms accused of forming a cartel and paying kickbacks to politically appointed directors at Petrobras.

Continue reading “Will Dilma Rousseff be able to foster foreign direct investment to save the fiscal package and resume economic growth?”