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Financial Resilience in Brazilian Municipalities

Governmental Financial Resilience

ISBN: 978-1-78714-263-3, eISBN: 978-1-78714-262-6

ISSN: 2053-7697

Publication date: 30 May 2017

Abstract

This chapter analyses the financial resilience pattern presented by four Brazilian municipalities at the beginning of a serious revenue downturn, which was initiated at the central government as a combination of economic and political crises. The crisis occurred during an on-going public financial management reform and attempts to imbricate IPSAS-oriented accrual-accounting policies in a dominant cash-based budgeting culture. Thus, contrasting those patterns with other democracies depicted in this book, we aim to contribute to the comparative literature on financial resilience under austerity periods. We interviewed secretaries of finance, department directors and accountants of each city hall and businessmen from the four municipalities. Cases were selected among 100,000-350,000 inhabitants’ municipalities from one of the three most industrialised brazilian states, varying the cases according to their mean and volatility budgetary surplus over the 10 years before the beginning of the analysed crises. All cases presented no anticipatory capacity or long-term strategic planning. Their usual responses are short-term oriented, such as supplier payments postponement, increasing tax collection or cutting expenditures, rather than based on their weak transformative capacities. Despite the fatalistic and very ineffective reactive behaviours observed in two cases, a proactive mayor, supported by consulting firms, enhanced the responses effectiveness of the two remaining cases. Hence, mayor leadership might be a fruitful feature to be investigated by future studies.

Keywords

Citation

de Aquino, A.C.B. and Cardoso, R.L. (2017), "Financial Resilience in Brazilian Municipalities", Governmental Financial Resilience (Public Policy and Governance, Vol. 27), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 53-71. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2053-769720170000027004

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited