Measuring Portfolio Salience Using the Bradley-Terry Model: An Illustration with Data from Brazil

17 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2019

See all articles by Cesar Zucco

Cesar Zucco

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE)

Mariana Batista Silva

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) - Department of Political Science

Timothy J. Power

University of Oxford

Date Written: January 10, 2019

Abstract

How do political actors value different portfolios? We propose a new approach to measuring portfolio salience by analysing paired comparisons using the Bradley-Terry model. Paired-comparison data are easy to collect using surveys that are user-friendly, rapid, and inexpensive. We implement the approach with serving legislators in Brazil, a particularly difficult case to assess portfolio salience due to the large number of cabinet positions. Our estimates of portfolio values are robust to variations in implementation of the method. Legislators and academics have broadly similar views of the relative worth of cabinet posts. Respondent valuations of portfolios deviate considerably from what would be predicted by objective measures such as budget, policy influence, and opportunities for patronage. Substantively, we show that portfolio salience varies greatly and affects the calculation of formateur advantage and coalescence/proportionality rule measures.

Suggested Citation

Zucco, Cesar and Silva, Mariana Batista and Power, Timothy J., Measuring Portfolio Salience Using the Bradley-Terry Model: An Illustration with Data from Brazil (January 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3322043 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3322043

Cesar Zucco (Contact Author)

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE) ( email )

Praia de Botafogo 190
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Brazil

Mariana Batista Silva

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Brazil

Timothy J. Power

University of Oxford ( email )

Department of Economics
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

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