Does Political Competition Matter for Public Goods Provision? - Evidence from Russian Regions

52 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2012 Last revised: 16 Nov 2012

See all articles by John V. Nye

John V. Nye

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Mercatus Center; National Research University Higher School of Economics

Olga Vasilyeva

Economic Research Institute Far East Branch Russian Academy of Science

Date Written: November 16, 2012

Abstract

Does political competition matter for public policies under conditions of imperfect elections and autocracy? Which mechanisms of accountability give better results in terms of social welfare under conditions of suppressed political competition? To answer these questions we use panel data covering 74 Russian regions for 2004-2009 and study how the intensity of political competition within legislative power affects efficiency of governors accountability’ mechanisms. We show that in regions with a near monopoly of political power, increased administrative subordination of executives is associated with fewer public goods, specifically public education and public health care. By contrast, informal mechanisms of accountability for local executives (like networking) often work worse in heavily competitive environments.

Moreover, we find evidence of a non-monotonic relationship between the intensity of political competition, the efficiency of accountability mechanisms, and some measures of public goods.

Suggested Citation

Nye, John V. C. and Vasilyeva, Olga, Does Political Competition Matter for Public Goods Provision? - Evidence from Russian Regions (November 16, 2012). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-55, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2171097 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2171097

John V. C. Nye (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-4272 (Phone)

Mercatus Center ( email )

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National Research University Higher School of Economics

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Olga Vasilyeva

Economic Research Institute Far East Branch Russian Academy of Science ( email )

Politehnicheskaya str., 86
Blagoveshchensk, Amur region 675000
Russia

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