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Political Business Cycles and Russian Elections, or the Manipulations of Chudar

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  • Daniel Treisman

    (University of California, Los Angeles and Hoover Institution)

  • Vladimir Gimpelson

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo and IMEMO)

Abstract

Political business cycle theories tend to focus on one policy instrument or macroeconomic lever at a time. Efforts to find empirical evidence of opportunistic business cycles have turned up rather meager results. We suggest that these facts may be related. If ways of manipulating the economy to win votes are thought of as substitutes, with changing relative costs, one would expect rational policy makers to switch between them in different periods as costs change. We illustrate this argument with a discussion of Russia. In Russia, four nationwide votes have been held since 1993. We deduce the set of policies that a rational, behind-the-scenes strategist--the "Chudar" of the title--would recommend to an incumbent who believes the voters to vote retrospectively. We show that the expectations are born out closely in the actual macroeconomic data.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Treisman & Vladimir Gimpelson, 1999. "Political Business Cycles and Russian Elections, or the Manipulations of Chudar," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-39, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:99cf39
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    File URL: http://www.cirje.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/research/dp/99/cf39/contents.htm
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    Cited by:

    1. Koen Schoors & Konstantin Sonin, 2005. "Passive Creditors," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 57-86, July.
    2. Blessing Chiripanhura & Miguel Niño‐Zarazúa, 2015. "Aid, Political Business Cycles and Growth in Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(8), pages 1387-1421, November.
    3. repec:taf:jdevst:v:52:y:2016:i:7:p:917-932 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Fi̇li̇z Eryilmaz & Mehmet Mercan, 2015. "Political Budget Cycles: Evidence From Turkey," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 2, pages 5-14, April.
    5. Asad Alam & Mamta Murthi & Ruslan Yemtsov & Edmundo Murrugarra & Nora Dudwick & Ellen Hamilton & Erwin Tiongson, 2005. "Growth, Poverty and Inequality : Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7287, January.
    6. Paul Mosley & Blessing Chiripanhura, 2016. "The African Political Business Cycle: Varieties of Experience," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(7), pages 917-932, July.
    7. World Bank, 2003. "The Russian Labor Market : Moving from Crisis to Recovery," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15007, January.
    8. Holger Kachelein & Endrit Lami & Drini Imami, 2011. "Election-Related Cycles in Publicly Supplied Goods in Albania," South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics, Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, vol. 9(1), pages 13-25.
    9. Jula, Dorin, 2008. "Economic Impact of Political Cycles – The Relevance of European experinces for Romania," Working Papers of Institute for Economic Forecasting 081101, Institute for Economic Forecasting.

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