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No pain, no gain: market reform, unemployment, and politics in Bulgaria

  • Valev, Neven

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 409-425

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:32:y:2004:i:3:p:409-425
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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  1. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "The Dynamics of Political Support for Reform in Economies in Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. Polackova Brixi, Hana & Shatalov, Sergei & Zlaoui, Leila, 2000. "Managing fiscal risk in Bulgaria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2282, The World Bank.
  4. 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.
  5. Fidrmuc, Jan, 2000. "Political support for reforms: Economics of voting in transition countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1491-1513, August.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. G�rard Roland, 2002. "The Political Economy of Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 29-50, Winter.
  9. World Bank, 2001. "Bulgaria : The Dual Challenge of Transition and Accession," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13958, November.
  10. 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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  12. 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.
  13. Ham, John C & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 1998. "Unemployment and the Social Safety Net during Transitions to a Market Economy: Evidence from the Czech and Slovak Republics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1117-42, December.
  14. Gérard Roland, 2004. "Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026268148x, June.
  15. 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.
  16. Doyle, Orla & Fidrmuc, Jan, 2003. "Anatomy of Voting Behaviour and Attitudes During Post-Communist Transition Czech Republic 1990-98," CEPR Discussion Papers 3801, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521801393 is not listed on IDEAS
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