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No Pain, No Gain: Market Reform, Unemployment, and Politics in Bulgaria

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Abstract

In 1997, a new center-right government came to power in Bulgaria with a mandate to accelerate market reforms. By the time of the next elections in 2001, 75 percent of GDP was produced in the private sector, compared to 45 percent in 1996. The government however lost the elections. This paper uses unique survey data to examine whether the high unemployment associated with market reform contributed to the election outcome. The results suggest that high unemployment does not explain the election loss. In fact, many of the unemployed believed that high unemployment was the necessary price for future prosperity.

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File URL: http://aysps.gsu.edu/sites/default/files/documents/icepp/wp/ispwp0310.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU with number paper0310.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 01 May 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0310

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Keywords: Market Reform; Unemployment; Politics; Bulgaria;

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  1. John Ham & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 1998. "Unemployment and the Social Safety Net During Transitions to a Market Economy: Evidence from the Czech and Slovak Republic," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 169, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. " The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-45, June.
  3. Polackova Brixi, Hana & Shatalov, Sergei & Zlaoui, Leila, 2000. "Managing fiscal risk in Bulgaria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2282, The World Bank.
  4. Tito Boeri & Katherine Terrell, 2002. "Institutional Determinants of Labor Reallocation in Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 51-76, Winter.
  5. Carlson, John A. & Valev, Neven T., 2001. "Credibility of a new monetary regime: The currency board in Bulgaria," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 581-594, June.
  6. Hayo, Bernd, 2004. "Public support for creating a market economy in Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 720-744, December.
  7. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "The Dynamics of Political Support for Reform in Economies in Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Fidrmuc, J., 1998. "Political Support for Reforms: Economics of Voting in Transition Countries," Discussion Paper 1998-98, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Dewatripont, Mathias & Roland, Gérard, 1991. "The Virtues of Gradualism and Legitimacy in the Transition to a Market Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. World Bank, 2001. "Bulgaria : The Dual Challenge of Transition and Accession," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13958, January.
  11. G�rard Roland, 2002. "The Political Economy of Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 29-50, Winter.
  12. Gérard Roland, 2004. "Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026268148x, January.
  13. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
  14. Aslund,Anders, 2002. "Building Capitalism," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521801393, November.
  15. Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "Is Economic Reform Popular at the Polls? Russia 1995," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 448-465, September.
  16. Schwartz, Anna J., 1993. "Currency boards: their past, present, and possible future role," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 147-187, December.
  17. Dobrinsky, Rumen, 2000. "The Transition Crisis in Bulgaria," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(5), pages 581-602, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rovelli, Riccardo & Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2009. "Transition Fatigue? Cross-Country Evidence from Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4224, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Aguayo, Eva & Expósito, Pilar & Vázquez, Emilia, 2009. "Tourism in EU Transition Countries," Estudios Economicos de Desarrollo Internacional, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 9(2), pages 125-128.
  3. Smeets, Valerie & Warzynski, Frederic, 2003. "Job Creation, Job Destruction and Voting Behavior in Poland," Working Papers 03-24, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Orla Doyle & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2005. "Did political constraints bind during transition? Evidence from Czech elections 1990 - 2002," Trinity Economics Papers tep200515, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  5. Frank Neher, 2013. "Markets wanted: expectation overshooting in transition economies," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 187-219, June.
  6. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep15 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Begovic, Boris & Paunovic, Marko, 2011. "Political support for enterprise restructuring and voting in Serbia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 171-180, March.
  8. Hayo, Bernd, 2004. "Public support for creating a market economy in Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 720-744, December.
  9. Aguayo, E. , 2011. "Impact of Tourism on Employment: An Econometric Model of 50 CEEB Regions," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 11(1).
  10. Eva Aguayo & Pilar Exposito & Emilia Vazquez, 2006. "Potential Tourism Market in Transition Countries: A Regional Analysis," ERSA conference papers ersa06p743, European Regional Science Association.
  11. Kim, Byung-Yeon & Pirttila, Jukka, 2006. "Political constraints and economic reform: Empirical evidence from the post-communist transition in the 1990s," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 446-466, September.
  12. Orla Doyle & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2007. "Did political constraints bind during transition?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15, pages 575-601, 07.
  13. Neher, Frank, 2011. "Markets wanted: Expectation overshooting in transition," Discussion Papers 2011/1, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  14. Boyko Nikolov & Nikolay Markov & Nasko Dochev & Dimitar Dimitrov & Rumyana Kolarova & Rumen Dobrinsky, 2004. "Understanding Reform: A Country Study for Bulgaria," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 056, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  15. Bernd Hayo & Florian Neumeier, 2013. "Public Attitudes Toward Fiscal Consolidation: Evidence from a Representative German Population Survey," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201351, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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