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Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting

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  • Akhmed Akhmedov
  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Abstract

This paper tests the theory of opportunistic cycles in a decade-old democracy—Russia—finds strong evidence of cycles, and provides an explanation for why previous literature often found weaker evidence. Using regional monthly panel data, we find that (1) the budget cycle is sizable and short-lived; public spending shifts toward direct monetary transfers to voters; (2) the magnitude of the cycle decreases with democracy, government transparency, media freedom, voter awareness, and over time; and (3) preelectoral manipulation increases incumbents' chances for reelection. The short length of the cycle explains underestimation of its size by previous literature because of low frequency data used in previous studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1301-1338.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:4:p:1301-1338.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • P35 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Public Finance
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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