Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting
Posted: 24 Mar 2005
This paper tests the theory of opportunistic cycles in a decade-old democracy - Russia - finds strong evidence of cycles, and provides an explanation for why previous literature often found weaker evidence. Using regional monthly panel data, we find that (1) the budget cycle is sizable and short-lived; public spending shifts toward direct monetary transfers to voters; (2) the magnitude of the cycle decreases with democracy, government transparency, media freedom, voter awareness, and over time; and (3) preelectoral manipulation increases incumbents' chances for reelection. The short length of the cycle explains underestimation of its size by previous literature because of low frequency data used in previous studies.
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