Political Support for Reforms : Economics of Voting in Transition Countries
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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