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Political support for reforms: Economics of voting in transition countries

  • Fidrmuc, Jan

I analyze the relationship between economics and politics across eight parliamentary elections in four transition countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. I argue that support for reform reflects the balance between positive and negative effects of the reform. Accordingly, I identify economic groups that support or oppose the reform. The former are private entrepreneurs, white collar workers and university educated voters. The latter are the unemployed, retirees, and blue collar and agricultural workers. This general pattern holds both within countries and across countries, and across tenures of different governments. In contrast with the responsibility hypothesis, voters in the transition countries are found to be forward looking, not retrospective.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 44 (2000)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 1491-1513

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:44:y:2000:i:8:p:1491-1513
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  1. 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.
  2. Cukierman, Alex & Tommasi, Mariano, 1998. "When Does It Take a Nixon to Go to China?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 180-97, March.
  3. Rodrik Dani, 1995. "The Dynamics of Political Suppport for Reform in Economies in Transition," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 403-425, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Mathias Dewatripont & Gérard Roland, 1996. "Transition as a process of large-scale institutional change," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, 05.
  6. Jan Fidrmuc, 1999. "Unemployment and the dynamics of political support for economic reforms," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 139-156.
  7. Ray C. Fair, 1996. "Econometrics and Presidential Elections," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 89-102, Summer.
  8. Ray C. Fair, 1976. "The Effects of Economic Events on Votes for President," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 418, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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