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

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Title: Did political constraints bind during transition? Evidence from Czech elections 1990-2002
Authors: Doyle, Orla
Walsh, Patrick P.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/547
Date: Aug-2005
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 leftwing 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.
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: Institute for the Study of Labor
Series/Report no.: IZA Discussion Paper Series; No. 1719
Keywords: Political constraintsProspective economic votingInitial conditions
Subject LCSH: Voting research--Czech Republic
Economic policy--Czech Republic
Unemployment--Regional disparities
Other versions: ftp://repec.iza.org/RePEc/Discussionpaper/dp1719.pdf
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Politics and International Relations Research Collection
Geary Institute Research Collection

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