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Did Political Constraints Bind During Transition? Evidence from Czech Elections 1990-2002

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  • Doyle, Orla

    ()
    (University College Dublin)

  • Walsh, Patrick Paul

    ()
    (University College Dublin)

Abstract

Many theoretical models of transition are driven by the assumption that economic decision making is subject to political constraints. In this paper we empirically test whether the winners and losers of economic reform determined voting behaviour in the first five national elections in the Czech Republic. We propose that voters, taking stock of endowments from the planning era, could predict whether they would become "winners" or "losers" of transition. Using survey data we measure the percentage of individuals by region who were "afraid" and "not afraid" of economic reform in 1990. We define the former as potential "winners" who should vote for pro-reform parties, while latter are potential "losers" who should support left-wing parties. Using national election results and regional economic indicators, we demonstrate that there is persistence in support for pro-reform and communist parties driven by prospective voting based on initial conditions in 1990. As a result, we show that regional unemployment rates in 2002 are good predictors of regional voting patterns in 1990.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1719.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Transition, 2007, 15 (3), 575–601
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1719

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Keywords: political constraints; initial conditions; prospective economic voting;

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  1. Alexandre Rekine & Patrick Paul Walsh, 1998. "European Trade and Foreign Direct Investment. U-Shaping Industrial Output in Central and Eastern Europe: Theory and Evidence," LICOS Discussion Papers 7398, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  2. G�rard Roland, 2002. "The Political Economy of Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 29-50, Winter.
  3. Fidrmuc, J., 1998. "Political Support for Reforms: Economics of Voting in Transition Countries," Discussion Paper 1998-98, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Orla Doyle & Jan Fidrmuc, 2005. "Voice of the Diaspora: An Analysis of Market Voting Behaviour," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp042, IIIS.
  5. Neven Valev, 2003. "No Pain, No Gain: Market Reform, Unemployment, and Politics in Bulgaria," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-577, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  6. Mathias Dewatripont & Gérard Roland, 1995. "The design of reform packages under uncertainty," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9607, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Jan Fidrmuc & Orla Doyle, 2004. "Voice of the Diaspora: An Analysis of Migrant Voting Behavior," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-714, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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