Ministerial stability during presidential approval crises: The moderating effect of ministers’ attributes on dismissals in Brazil and Chile


This article analyses the effect of ministers’ exposure to periods of low presidential approval in Brazil and Chile between 1990 and 2014. Approval is explored with quarterly estimates using a dyad-ratios algorithm and merged into a time-dependent cabinet data set to evaluate individual ministerial terminations (N = 4,245). The empirical strategy combines time-varying exposure Cox regressions with observational data and propensity score and matching to estimate the effect of low approval on ministerial survival and perform a moderation analysis with three profiles associated with presidential strategies: (1) nonpartisan ministers to limit agency loss and moral hazard; (2) economists as ministers to optimise cabinet performance and send positive signals to the electorate; and (3) party leaders as ministers to optimise legislative support. The main findings show that risk increases by 135.1% in periods of low approval. In addition, approximately only one in five nonpartisan ministers is removed compared to party members.

The British Journal of Politics and International Relations. OnlineFirst
Bastián González-Bustamante
Bastián González-Bustamante
DPhil (PhD) Candidate

DPhil (PhD) Candidate in the Department of Politics and International Relations and St Hilda’s College at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.