CEM's research follows good research practices and ethical guidelines established by Brazilian legislation and embraced by the Dean of Research of the University of São Paulo (USP) and by the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo (Fapesp). To this end, where appropriate, CEM research coordinators submit their investigations to Organs respective bodies of the institutions to which they are affiliated and/or the respective agencies.

The research plan describes four new thematic lines of research as well as the goals, methodologies and scope of each subproject.

Research line 1: The role of subnational regulation in mediating the implementation of national policies

The original project demonstrated that federal policy regulation greatly affects how subnational governments ⎯ municipalities or state governments ⎯ implement the policies they are responsible for delivering, for example the national SUS healthcare system. However, in their capacity as policymakers, local and state governments also create new layers of regulation, which themselves influence the way policies are implemented locally. As a result, on the one hand, federal regulation creates mechanisms that push towards convergence in how decentralized policies are implemented. On the other hand, variation in subnational policy regimes pulls implementation patterns apart and creates divergence in outcomes. Previous research reveals that these contradictory tendencies affect how citizens access the same nationwide policy.

This line of research brings together research teams from different policy areas with the shared goal of disentangling the causes and effects of subnational policymaking regimes. Adrian Lavalle and Renata Bichir will coordinate this line of research.

Subproject 1: Councils, Subnational Regimes and Capacity Building

Coordination: Adrian Lavalle, Department of Political Science, USP

The main question of this subproject is: How does subnational regulation affect the decision-making power of policy-specific councils beyond the powers specified in federal regulation. Under what circumstances does such regulation take place?

Previous findings of the research team have demonstrated that the capacity of councils to influence policymaking depends upon their territorial expansion and how embedded they are in the regular operation of the policy area. In both cases, federal regulation plays a crucial role, either through incentive mechanisms that induce expansion or through regulation that specifies the role of municipal councils in the policy cycle. Yet, previous research has also identified very active councils whose policy role and scope is specified by subnational regulation (either from state or municipal governments). Thus, councils may operate under layered regulatory regimes, greatly affecting their ability to act, but this is a research frontier that is little explored.

This subproject proposes to explore how subnational regulations increase council decision-making of and under what circumstances. First, we aim to identify which subnational regulations confer an active role on councils beyond the scope of federal provisions, and through which mechanisms. Second, to assess the circumstances conducive to increasing council decision-making, we aim to uncover the political factors associated with the construction of councils’ ability to act at the state and municipal levels. The analysis will take into account the process of regulatory development and its contestation by state, private and social actors. The subproject therefore requires comparison of the volume and profile of decision-making activity by policy-specific councils with the scope and content of the regulatory regimes to which they are subjected.

The methodology will draw from databases containing censuses of councils' resolutions collected over seven years in the official gazettes of six large municipalities. The project employs three methodological strategies. First, we will expand the number of municipalities drawn from the same state in our dataset by web-scraping municipal council resolutions. The interpretation and classification of thousands of municipal council decisions will be facilitated by applying machine learning techniques. Second, a survey of local regulation will be carried out along with document analysis to identify and categorize subnational regimes. Third, in order to identify the political construction of local regulation and councils’ capacity to act a literature survey will be conducted along with interviews with key informants.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.

Subproject 2: State-level variation in fundamental (6-14) education policy

Coordination: Ursula Peres, School of Art, Sciences and Humanities, USP ⎯ This subproject also fits into research line 2, as shown below

The main focus of this subproject is the substantial variation between Brazilian states in the allocation of revenues to finance their educational policy. In turn, how does this variation contribute to national inequality in educational performance?

The financing of subnational basic education policies has been regulated by the federal government, both on the revenue and expenditure side. Currently, state agencies account for almost 40% of basic education funding. However, this average hides substantial variations between Brazilian states, suggesting that regulatory policies at the state level are superimposed on uniform federal regulation. States with similar tax collection capabilities have different spending policies and priorities. Given the critical role of education in reducing inequality and the scale of investments currently earmarked for the sector, it is a priority to explain this variation.

This subproject aims to study how different Brazilian states finance their own educational policies, identifying patterns of similarities and differences built on the same set of federal regulations, mainly the National Education and Guidelines Law (LDBN) and the Fund for Maintenance and Development. Education (Fundeb). Examining state-level specificities and policy choices is the analytical objective of this subproject.

The project starts with a quantitative component, analyzing data on the budget execution rates of 27 Brazilian states from 2006 to 2018. This will allow a comparative analysis of state financing decisions for basic education from 2007 to 2017. During this period, the federal government Fundeb regulations were implemented, which means that all states were subject to the same set of federal rules. To examine the factors that affect variation, state factors such as the profile and composition of tax revenues, the allocation of expenditures between sectors and programs (by spending subfunction), the access of states to federal transfers (mainly Fundeb revenues ) and state budget constraints will be taken into account. The goal is to find patterns of variation that explain the education financing priorities of 27 Brazilian states.

The second component of this subproject will be a qualitative study of three selected states. It will be carried out by examining state regulations and legislative research. In-depth interviews will be conducted with political actors, technocrats from the budget bureaucracy; members of the State Board of Education and representatives of CONSED (the Council formed by these Directorates). These will illuminate the mechanisms behind the choice of policy. We will examine in particular (i) the weight of federal rules in the decision to allocate states, according to their dependence on federal transfers; (ii) the weight of bureaucratic / administrative organizations in budget allocation decisions, and; (iii) the role of the Secretariat of Education at the state level vis-à-vis the State Secretariats of Finance and Planning in the decision-making process.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.

Subproject 3: The Multilevel governance of social assistance policy

Coordination: Renata Bichir, School of Art, Sciences and Humanities, USP

The main question of this subproject is how different strategies of multilevel governance ̶the interplay of federal, state and municipal decisions ̶ affect the implementation of social assistance policies in metropolises. Previous CEM research has shown the crucial influence of federal-led national policy systems on policy implementation patterns. Convergence in social spending, and also in patterns of service provision, has been produced by federal standards which establish incentive mechanisms that restrict the decision-making autonomy of subnational units.

This subproject aims to go beyond the basic distinction between policy-making and policy decision-making, taking seriously the idea that implementation is not a mechanical execution of previously defined rules, but has its own level of decision-making. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze explicitly the decision-making autonomy of subnational units even in nationally-regulated social policies. Specifically, the goal is to analyze how subnational units ⎯ states and municipalities ⎯translate, adapt and transform the federal regulatory framework and also create their own layers of regulation, constructing local governance of social assistance policies.

Why focus on social assistance policies? A central challenge of inequality-reduction in Brazil remains to include ‘outsiders’, citizens who are excluded from services and benefits coverage. This challenge directly implies the importance of analyzing the governance of social assistance policy, which can provide support to theses vulnerable groups, helping them to access other policies such as education and healthcare. Reflecting the overall goal of explaining the evolution of inequality, it is crucial to investigate if and how these social assistance policies can integrate the most vulnerable populations in complex environments such as metropolises. This also implies considering, at the micro-level, different modes of interaction between state and non-state actors and vulnerable groups. These complex patterns of interaction between state and non-state actors are not exclusive to social assistance, which will facilitate comparative analyses with the other public policies under this research plan.

Following the analytical framework proposed by Kazepov and Barberis, this subproject analyzes recent changes in Brazilian social assistance policy both in its vertical dimension ⎯ the territorial reorganization of regulatory powers at federal, state and municipal levels ⎯- and in its horizontal dimension ⎯ the interaction between a range of state and non-state actors. The feedback process through which successful subnational social assistance policies influence the revision and extension of federal regulations will also be studied.

To address these research questions, this subproject will undertake a multilevel analysis of the interaction between the subnational and national levels, taking into account the federative institutions of social assistance policy (mainly the Conselho Intergestores Tripartite) and leading organizations (namely the Conselho Nacional de Assistência Social and the Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social). The methodology will examine how relevant actors such as politicians, bureaucrats and civil society organizations interact with one another in the process of constructing regulations at subnational level. For the horizontal dimension, the focus will be on the interactions between social assistance actors ⎯ bureaucrats, local politicians, civil society organizations, social movements and the beneficiary population. Finally, interactions across social assistance policies and other social policies will be also studied.

The study will comprise two levels of analysis. The first will conduct a comparative analysis of governance patterns in social assistance between the cities of São Paulo and Milan. The second will disentangle and compare patterns of governance among Brazilian metropolises.

The methodology will combine qualitative and quantitative strategies. First, a quantitative analysis will draw upon public available databases: the Census SUAS (MDS); the Nonprofit Private Social Assistance Entities database (PEAS/ IBGE); the Map of Civil Society Organizations (IPEA); and a historical series of agreements signed between organizations of civil society and the Municipal Government of São Paulo. A content analysis of the regulations and minutes of the Conselho Intergestores Bipartite and the Conselho Intergestores Tripartite, and of the resolutions of the Conselho Nacional de Assistência Social will be applied. Case studies will be conducted within municipalities in major metropolises to understand the different modes of interaction between political, societal and vulnerable groups in the production of social assistance policy. Finally, in-depth interviews with relevant state and non-state actors will be undertaken.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.

Subproject 4: Health policy: comparing experiences in the State of São Paulo

Coordination: Vera Schattan P Coelho, CEBRAP

The question that guides this subproject is: Do certain institutional characteristics of municipalities favor the reduction of health inequalities? Researching different municipalities, what can we learn about how the existing structure for the provision of primary health care services (public and private) affects the relationship between elected politicians, public managers, social health organizations (OSS in Portuguese), users and health professionals, and in turn the quality of healthcare? Which actors have been most successful in implementing their projects? How have the proportion of hospitalizations and the mortality rate due to preventable diseases evolved in neighborhoods with the best and worst socio-economic indicators? In short, to what degree can the evolution of healthcare inequality within each municipality be attributed to the actors and institutions that constitute the municipal health policy process?

Previous research shows that the implementation of outsourcing by the Brazilian Health System (SUS in Portuguese) in the State of São Paulo is one institutional factor that significantly increased the number of primary health care appointments by approximately one appointment per user of the national health care system per year. The results also indicated a reduction in hospitalization for preventable diseases.

Given these promising results the research will explore the implementation of outsourcing in three municipalities in the state of São Paulo: São Paulo, São Bernardo do Campo and Campinas. In previous studies we learned, for example, that some variables such as the size and income of municipalities are correlated with the decision to implement outsourcing models. Municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants and with a high percentage of SUS users are less likely to implement outsourcing. We also found that the Workers Party municipal administrations had more participatory approaches while those affiliated to the PSDB had more performance-oriented approaches.

We do not know, however, why medium and large cities have very different patterns in the use of outsourcing. For example, São Paulo, with a population of 12 million inhabitants, hires 10 OSSs to manage and provide primary care services. Campinas with a population of just over one million inhabitants offers these services directly through public agencies. São Bernardo do Campo, with a population of just over 800,000 inhabitants, contracts a single OSS that is focused on providing health professionals to clinics managed by the Municipal Health Secretariat. To understand these differences we intend to investigate the political processes that, at the municipal level, have shaped outsourcing policy. Additionally, the subproject will explore the behavior of health indicators that respond to the organization of primary care. The study will start with the city of São Paulo, for which we already have detailed information to facilitate the development of a methodology to reconstitute the municipal process of outsourcing. From there we will extend the study to the other two municipalities.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.

Subproject 5:Comparing Subnational Public Policies in Brazil: Changes in State Policies and Their Effects on Municipal Policies

Coordination: Catarina Ianni Segatto, DCP-FFLCH/USP

The relationship between federalism and social policies has played a central role in academic debate. Differences in subnational public policies are expected and desirable in federations, as they reflect the regional diversities characterizing these countries. However, especially in countries marked by regional inequalities, such as Brazil, these differences can result in disparities in access and quality of social policies between regions, leading to variations in levels of well-being within the same country. Analyzing this relationship between federalism and social policies, literature has advanced in understanding the effects of national coordination in reducing asymmetries in administrative and financial capacities of subnational governments and ensuring minimum standards of access and quality of subnational policies through the adoption of federative coordination mechanisms, such as resource redistribution and national standardization. Recent studies highlight the importance of analyzing subnational public policies. For these studies, variations in subnational public policies exist and should be examined more deeply. Moreover, subnational governments have become central in constructing new social protection systems that complement national systems, potentially reducing social and spatial inequalities when they possess greater capacities.

This research aims to understand the policy-making process in subnational governments. It seeks to analyze in greater depth the factors explaining decision-making processes in subnational public policies. In addition to contributing to the understanding of variations in subnational public policies, this research aims to contribute to the debate on the factors explaining decision-making processes at the subnational level, as they are not necessarily explained by the same factors as those at the national level. Furthermore, there is little consensus on the most relevant factors in these processes. Some studies show that the interaction between demographic, economic, and institutional factors explains variations in subnational policies. Others emphasize that variations in subnational policies are explained by state capacities, political legacies, bureaucratic activism, and interactions between state and non-state actors. Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.

Research line 2. The role of social policies in inequality reduction

Previous CEM research has revealed the crucial role of social policies as instruments for reducing inequalities. In this line of research, we intend to expand the scope of our study to characterize the mechanisms by which the implementation of education, health and care policies at the cutting edge create, or reduce opportunities, for people to lift themselves out of poverty. Our previous research also highlighted the importance of studying the different dynamics at different levels of the policy system and accommodating endogenous and exogenous processes of change.

The three studies that make up this line of research investigate three key aspects of these dynamics: (i) how the interaction between users and street-level bureaucrats influences access and inclusiveness in health and care policies; (ii) how interactions within schools affect student performance; and (iii) how affirmative action policy at a large university affects student performance.

Subproject 5: Formal and informal institutions in education policy

Coordination: Charles Kirschbaum, Insper and Gabriela Lotta, UFABC

This subproject aims at studying the micro-mechanisms through which education systems reproduce or reduce inequality. It is based on the premise that schools do not implement public policies mechanistically and deterministically. Instead, individuals participate in and interpret specific interactions within schools that mediate how education policies materialize in practice. It is the goal of this subproject to understand how school professionals interpret, translate, negotiate and implement the guidelines received from various institutional sources.

In parallel to identifying the 'cognitive and cultural schemata' and cultural repertoires of education professionals, this subproject aims to characterize the relationships among professionals. These relationships are central to the construction of educational policies. For example, the quality of the relationship between the school principal and the supervisor of the Education Department can influence how the principal interprets and implements policy guidelines. Similarly, the quality of the relationship between school management (principals and pedagogical coordinators) and teachers may influence how policy is received and implemented by teachers. Finally, the way professionals interpret, categorize, and build relationships with students influences and reveals how policies are translated onto the school unit. In sum, this subproject evaluates how the quality of "vertical" relationships is associated with the cognitive schemata of professionals and their exercise of discretion.

In addition, through the identification of patterns of "horizontal" relationships in schools (for example, between teachers, among students) this subproject will investigate a range of phenomena of interest such as school performance, abandonment, violence, absenteeism, resource allocation and sanctions. The study will investigate how patterns of professional relationships are associated with inequality among students, as well as with broader outcomes that may have an indirect impact on academic performance (such as the atmosphere of school interactions).

In order to explore these issues, this subproject will conduct primary data collection in five municipal schools in São Paulo metropolis through in-depth interviews with teachers and managers (eight in-depth interviews per school are proposed, totaling forty interviewees). This data will build on field research already carried out in the city of São Paulo by this team in the previous phase of our CEPID. In four schools in São Paulo (ideally those studied in the previous phase), relational data between teachers and school administrators will be collected by means of structured questionnaires. In five state schools in Cabreúva municipality relational data among students will be collected, as well as data on student attitudes, for example experiences of bullying. Specifically, initial classes of Fundamental School II (age 11) will be followed for two years, with two collections per year).

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.

Subproject 6: Evaluation of USP’s Affirmative Action policy

Coordination: Marta Arretche, Department of Political Science, USP

The goal of this subproject is both to conduct research on a critical component of Brazil’s inclusion strategy and to transfer knowledge to policymakers in the University of São Paulo.

In 2017, USP approved an affirmative action (AA) policy according to which 37 percent of the 2018 entrance exams were allocated to public school students. Moreover, the vacancies reserved for Black, Mixed race and Indigenous Persons (PPIs) will be proportional to the presence of these demographic groups in the State of São Paulo. Thus, of the 37% total quotas, 37% will be reserved for PPIs. The introduction of the quota will be staggered from 2018: at entrance in 2018, 37% of the vacancies of each school will be reserved; in 2019, the percentage must be 40% of vacancies reserved for each undergraduate course; for 2020, 45%; and at the entrance of 2021 and in subsequent years, the quota will be 50% of every course and shift.

This subproject aims at evaluating the results of the AA program, particularly on the social composition (eg. family background) of USP students and students’ academic performance. First, the analysis will be conducted at the level of each undergraduate course instead of using university-wide averages, which ignore the great diversity within large universities. Data will be used to track the changing socioeconomic profile of USP students as a result of AA policy. This analysis aims at examining whether racial diversity and broader social inclusion were secured as a result of this policy. Second, a quasi-experimental study will be deployed to analyze the impact of the AA policy on students' performance in undergraduate courses. The performance of a control group, formed by students who did not enter USP through quotas will be compared to the treated students who benefited from the AA policy. In a second stage, three treatment groups will be formed by lottery: (i) a PPI group receiving a fellowship; (ii) a public school group receiving a fellowship, and (iii) a PPI group receiving extra teaching support. In this phase, all students who entered through the quota system will be considered the control group while those receiving fellowships will be taken as a treated group. The performance of each group will be compared to understand the interactive and complementary effects of both quota and financial support programs. Sixty Student fellowships will be offered by Banco Itaú and distributed by USP.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.

Subproject 7: Street-level bureaucracy and interaction with users in social policies

Coordination: Gabriela Spanghero Lotta, FGV

This research aims to analyze the categorization processes operated by street-level bureaucrats when interacting with users and their potential effects on unequal treatment. To this end, we analyze, in this project, how bureaucrats from different policies (health, assistance, security and education) categorize types of users and the repercussions of this categorization in unequal treatments. We intend to understand what factors can explain these differences in categorizations by analyzing different individual, organizational and social variables. The question that guides the analysis is: how do bureaucrats categorize users and what factors explain the differences in categorization?

The theoretical contribution of this research is to verify how the international findings are adapted (or not) to the Brazilian context, where there is a combination of high inequality, resource constraints and universal policies - different from the States where previous research was developed in which, in general , there is low inequality or more focused policies. We will therefore contribute by testing the hypotheses already proven in international research to the Brazilian context.

The project aims to explore this issue by observing the performance of different types of street-level bureaucrats and their relationship with users as encounters where there is potentially (re) production of inequalities in treatment. The research will be based on an experimental, qualitative and quantitative method, observing bureaucrats from different policies in the areas of health, education and assistance.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program and regular research support.

Research Line 3. Inequality and Political Behavior

This research line treats inequality as an explanatory variable which affects public opinion preferences, how policies are implemented, and the mechanisms through which representation is framed. This research line departs from the approach of research lines 1 and 2 – which treat inequality as ann outcome to be explained by public policy – and explores how social inequality itself drives political behavior in diverse settings. Marta Arretche will coordinate this line of research.

Subproject 8: How do local inequalities affect the implementation of public policy in Brazil? (conclude)

Coordination: Jonathan Phillips, Department of Political Science, USP

This research proposal reverses the classic question of how public policy affects inequality to consider how socioeconomic 'context' affects how policy is implemented. Even where the formal rules of policy are fixed, the 'implementation' of policy may be very different in communities that are more unequal. Where rich and poor live side-by-side, conflicts of interest, segregated networks, weaker norms of collective action and mechanisms of social accountability may incentivize public officials to pursue practices of neglect, division, clientelism and corruption. Resources and attention may be effectively diverted to more equal communities where electoral returns or accountability pressures are higher due to the more homogeneous conditions among citizens.

Answering this question will contribute to three key literatures. First, it will extend previous research by CEM on measuring the trajectories and impacts of inequality in Brazil to provide spatially disaggregated and multi-dimensional estimates. Second, it will extend models of democratic politics which predict that inequality affects public policy to evaluate not just formal policy choices (eg. tax rates) but policy implementation (eg. tax collection). Mechanisms of redistributive preferences, elite lobbying, and political participation will be assessed for the first time at a local level. Third, it will deepen the literature on ‘neighborhood effects’ that examines how local context affects individual preferences to assess the downstream impact on policy operation. The focus is on understanding how social context alters the policy process, specifically public officials’ incentives, culture and accountability in delivering public policy.

The unit of analysis will be municipalities and neighborhoods within selected municipalities. To focus the analysis the research will focus on the implementation of social policies, where conflicts of interest are substantial, electoral and social accountability is an important pressure, and implementation quality exhibits local variation. The outcome variables focus on two key dimensions of policy implementation: (i) variation in the aggregate coverage and quality of policy, and (ii) variation in the terms of access of a policy, specifically whether it is rule-based, with clear eligibility criteria and enforced rules, or clientelist and arbitrary in distribution.

Methodologically, the first phase will construct a spatial panel dataset to describe municipal and neighborhood patterns of inequality and policy implementation. This will also help identify critical cases for the subsequent phases. Second, fieldwork will seek to understand the range of causal mechanisms through which contexts of inequality affects public policy actions. Third, a systematic survey of households and bureaucrats in critical cases will be used to measure key aspects of the dependent variable. The fourth phase will involve estimating spatial panel and multi-level models that explain variation in policy implementation by patterns of local inequality. The final phase will focus on causal inference, taking advantage of plausibly exogenous variation in inequality arising from (i) historical variation in inequality linked to ecological and agricultural zones; (ii) policy formula changes that reveal how public resources are differently invested by high and low inequality municipalities, and (iii) spatial-equality-altering policies such as the introduction of Minha Casa Minha Vida (MCMV) residential neighborhoods.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.

Subproject 9: Citizens' preferences and inequality

Coordination: Marta Arretche, Department of Political Science, USP

This subproject aims to investigate what factors explain public support for the (de)centralization of government authority in different policy areas in multilevel polities. Do people prefer policies to be delivered by the federal government or do they prefer local or state-level government to take responsibility? Would proposals advancing a different arrangement for Brazil’s federal pact be accepted by voters? Would Brazilian voters support transfers from richer regions to poorer ones so as reduce national inequality?

Some factors often identified by the literature to explain these preferences include regional and ethnic identity, political ideology, and material concerns about how (de)centralization will affect taxation and redistribution. The latter argument is often criticized because it assumes that people are well-informed and capable of correctly evaluating the distributional and policy consequences of the allocation of authority. Due to the complexity of potential redistributive consequences of the allocation of authority, how people actually make the connection between a given institutional design and its distributive consequences in order to form their preferences over (de)centralization arrangements, if they make such connection at all, is unclear. This interpretive and cognitive process has been insufficiently theorized and empirically neglected by the literature.

Therefore this subproject aims at better understanding how people evaluate the distributional consequences of the centralization of authority, in particular for sectors and policies whose purpose is the redistribution of income or access to services that assist poor and vulnerable populations. For instance, do Brazilians assume that a decentralization of the Bolsa Família Program would lead to reduced transfers to the relatively poor Northeast? Would this lead them to support or oppose such a decentralization?

To answer these questions, data from national surveys already collected in Brazil will be analyzed. These surveys include questions about the allocation of authority in many different policy areas, which allow us to parse out which mechanism is motivating respondents. The core hypothesis is that individuals' own income as well as their knowledge about their region’s position relative to the rest of the country will affect preferences over how to allocate political authority, primarily for policies that affect people's well-being.

Two national surveys conducted by CEM in 2013 and 2018 will be the basis for this research. In addition, surveys conducted by CESOP (in 2009 and 2010) as well as a survey conducted by Oxfam in 2017 will be analyzed. All these surveys adopted national stratified samples, which can be representative of Brazilian regions. Preferences for the centralization of welfare policies will be taken as the dependent variable while key independent variables will include (i) the electoral pressure for redistribution under different designs; (ii) support for inter-regional redistribution; (iii) regional and individual income; (iv)party affinity; (v) distrust in the central government, and; (vi) regional identity and ethnicity.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program and Associação Samambaia Filantropia.

Research Line 4. Who governs what in urban inequalities?

This line of research aims to analyze governance patterns that are influenced not only by the State and its bodies, but also by a diverse range of social actors. The presence of multiple relationships between civil society and the state has been demonstrated in previous CEM research to be fundamental to understanding governance outcomes. Three parallel subprojects will address this research conundrum: (i) documenting governance patterns in urban policies, identifying different combinations of state agencies and legal and illegal groups within civil society, and; (ii) studying in detail the dynamics of the process of production and implementation of the municipal budget in several metropolises in a comparative way, and (iii) developing indicators related to urban mobility that can better describe and characterize the patterns of inequality produced by spatial and segregation structures , by the diverse mobility policies and by the most different patterns of displacement of the residents of the big cities. A fourth project, already completed, analyzed the mechanisms that support the operation of illegal markets that have flourished throughout Brazil in recent years and how these have generated new spheres of governance and new patterns of inequality. Eduardo Marques, Ursula Peres and Mariana Giannotti coordinate this line of research.

Subproject 10: Budget governance in large metropolises

Coordination: Ursula Peres, School of Art, Sciences and Humanities, USP

Setting out from conversations developed with researchers in France and the UK, this new research line explores the governance of municipal budgets, in close dialogue with subproject 10 below. The aim is to explore the main processes and actors that produce public budgets in large metropolises, focusing on São Paulo, but using London and Paris as shadow cases. 
In the comparative analysis of the governance of London and São Paulo, the most notable point of difference is that the São Paulo mayor has greater political discretion over local taxation policy (ISS and, principally, IPTU) than London’s mayor, who can only update property tax values without being able to alter the tax base or the rates. The São Paulo mayor’s discretion enabled the continuity and progressiveness of some urban policies, despite all the difficulty and rigidity of the budget base (focused on social policies). Analysis of São Paulo’s budget structure highlights the importance of IPTU collection in the period from 2014 to 2018, which provided the mayor with more discretionary power. A comparative analysis of IPTU in the majority of Brazilian municipalities, even state capitals and the largest and most urbanized cities, reveals that this revenue has a very low level of importance, ranked in eighth or ninth position after most of the federal and state transfers. This revenue option with low exploitation of the tax on property in Brazil runs counter to the choice of diverse cities around the world and reduces the solutions available to urban public policies.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.

Subproject 11: Governance in large metropolises in comparative perspective

Coordination: Eduardo Marques, Department of Political Science, USP

The main question of this subproject is "who governs what, and who governs when the government does not govern?” In the first phase of CEPID, this subproject accumulated substantial knowledge about the actors and processes involved in the production of several policies in São Paulo: buses, subway, transit regulation, solid waste management, development approval, road infrastructure, housing (both slum upgrading and housing production), public transport dedicated lanes, land use control and large urban projects. As a whole, policies followed a path of incremental progressivism since redemocratization, with the gradual (and conflicting) expansion and diversification of urban redistributive programs. This process was caused by intense political competition, redistributive policy preferences from the left, and the policy production process itself, but in different rhythms and intensities in diverse policy areas. This had already appeared in the concrete transformations in the city in articles and books published in 2015 and 2016, but it was completed with the analysis of urban policies in articles and books published in 2018 and 2021.

For the next three years of research, I intend to (i) this subproject in the comparative part of the research with collaborators from Paris, London, Mexico City and this one; (ii) an analysis of a comprehensive set of policies in São Paulo, (iii) deepen the analysis of urban actors, in particular private forms, bureaucrats, local politicians and civil society actors.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program and Independent Research Fund Denmark.

Subproject 12: Urban transportation socio-spatial inequalities

Coordination: Mariana Giannotti, Politecnica School, USP

This research project seeks to answer the following question: what are the most appropriate inequality indicators to support the formulation of public policies in the area of transport, prioritizing the most vulnerable population? To answer this question, it will be necessary to test several indicators already used in transport and in other areas, such as health and education, verifying the necessary adaptations. In addition, an effort will be made to explore the various data sources in order to produce diverse, spatial and multiscalar levels of detail and technical precision that take intermodality into consideration.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.

Subproject 13: The regulation of (il)legal markets (conclude)

Coordination: Gabriel de Santis Feltran, Federal University of São Carlos

This subproject aims to map the (il)legal vehicle market as a case study to understand the mechanisms of production of inequalities and violence. The research is justified by the lack of national and international academic production in the Social Sciences regarding the illegal market for stolen vehicles, shifting forms of regulation, the connection between illegal practices and the reproduction of inequalities. There are even fewer works studying social and urban relations within illegal markets, in spite of its transnational character, its economic importance and its direct linkage, especially in the case of Latin American countries, to violent practices and, above all, police lethality.

This subproject builds on previous CEM research on the world of crime, the First Command of the Capital (PCC in Portuguese), and the production of security policies in São Paulo.

The term ‘(il)legal’ market is employed here because: i) what we recognize as a formal vehicle market bridges and incorporates illegal and informal goods on a large scale, and; (ii) the drivers of vehicle theft are directly connected to both legitimate branches of the economy ⎯ to insurance, car markets, auto parts, etc. ⎯ and criminal organizations ⎯ criminal groups, drug market operators, arms and contraband. In this stage, we intend to study this transnational market from the perspective of São Paulo, which constitutes 45% of the total theft of vehicles in Brazil. Unlike other illegal markets (drugs and weapons, for example), it allows much more precise quantification and scaling, through official data produced by insurers and governments.

The subproject will focus on analyzing (i) the production and reproduction of inequalities in access to resources by individuals engaged in the vehicle market, including both the distribution of legal and illegal income and unequal access to public and private services related to urban life, and; (ii) the regulation of the distribution of violence, understood as the use of force, especially homicides, both by criminals and the state police. By associating these two dimensions of the subproject, studied qualitatively and quantitatively, systematic exposure to violence should also be understood as an element of the composition of the production/reproduction of inequalities in São Paulo.

Funded by the Cepid-Fapesp Program.