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Words or deeds – what matters? Experience of recentralization in Russian security agencies

  • Libman, Alexander
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    Although decentralization is often modeled as an outcome of bargaining over rents and poli-cies, intuitively it seems possible that public statements, symbols and status often have a great impact on this process. The paper studies the relative importance of the “real” political actions versus the changes of symbolic nature in the bargaining over devolution and secession, using the unique laboratory of the personnel recentralization in the Russian security agencies in 2000-2007. While in the 1990s regional branches of federal ministries were mostly captured by regional governors, in 2000s Putin replaced the heads of agencies by new bureaucrats, cut-ting the connections to the region. The paper finds a robust influence of symbolic gestures made by regional governments in the earlier bargaining process on appointments, even if the actual devolution policies did not matter. Symbolic actions seem to play a crucial role in the decisions in this highly sensitive area.

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    File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/29197/1/MPRA_paper_29197.pdf
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    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29197.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29197
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    1. Mikael Elinder & Henrik Jordahl & Panu Poutvaara, 2008. "Selfish and Prospective: Theory and Evidence of Pocketbook Voting," CESifo Working Paper Series 2489, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Arzaghi, Mohammad & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Why countries are fiscally decentralizing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1157-1189, July.
    3. Klaus Abbink & Jordi Brandts, 2009. "Political autonomy and independence: Theory and experimental evidence," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 09-12, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    4. Robert Young, 2004. "Secession as Revolution," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 21, pages 373-395.
    5. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
    6. Vladimir Popov, 2004. "Fiscal Federalism in Russia: Rules versus Electoral Politics," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(4), pages 515-541, December.
    7. Lorenz Blume & Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Federalism and decentralization—a critical survey of frequently used indicators," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 238-264, September.
    8. Elena Jarocinska, 2010. "Intergovernmental grants in Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 18(2), pages 405-427, 04.
    9. Libman, Alexander, 2010. "Constitutions, regulations, and taxes: Contradictions of different aspects of decentralization," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 138, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    10. Croson, Rachel & Boles, Terry & Murnighan, J. Keith, 2003. "Cheap talk in bargaining experiments: lying and threats in ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 143-159, June.
    11. Panizza, Ugo, 1999. "On the determinants of fiscal centralization: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 97-139, October.
    12. Forsythe, Robert & Kennan, John & Sopher, Barry, 1991. "An Experimental Analysis of Strikes in Bargaining Games with One-Sided Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 253-78, March.
    13. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
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