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Did political constraints bind during transition? Evidence from Czech elections 1990 - 2002

Author

Listed:
  • Orla Doyle
  • Patrick Paul Walsh

    (Department of Economics, Trinity College)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Orla Doyle & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2005. "Did political constraints bind during transition? Evidence from Czech elections 1990 - 2002," Trinity Economics Papers tep200515, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:tep200515
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    File URL: http://www.tcd.ie/Economics/TEP/2005_papers/TEP15.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dewatripont, Mathias & Roland, Gerard, 1995. "The Design of Reform Packages under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1207-1223, December.
    2. Doyle, Orla & Fidrmuc, Jan, 2004. "Voice of the Diaspora: An Analysis of Migrant Voting Behaviour," CEPR Discussion Papers 4619, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. 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.
    4. Valev, Neven, 2004. "No pain, no gain: market reform, unemployment, and politics in Bulgaria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 409-425, September.
    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. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Palmer, Harvey D. & Whitten, Guy D., 1999. "The Electoral Impact of Unexpected Inflation and Economic Growth," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(04), pages 623-639, September.
    8. Gérard Roland, 2002. "The Political Economy of Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 29-50, Winter.
    9. Patrick P. Walsh & Alexander Repkine, 1998. "European Trade and Foreign Direct Investment U-Shaping Industrial Output in Central and Eastern Europe; Theory and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 98/150, International Monetary Fund.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:91:y:1997:i:03:p:617-633_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jackson, John E., 2002. "A Seemingly Unrelated Regression Model for Analyzing Multiparty Elections," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 49-65, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Samuel Brazys & Peter Heaney & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2014. "From the Great Lakes to the Great Rift Valley: Does Strategic Economic Policy Explain the 2009 Malawi Election?," Working Papers 201401, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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