Does Political Competition Matter for Public Goods Provision? - Evidence from Russian Regions
52 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2012 Last revised: 16 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 16, 2012
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.
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