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Seminarreihe des Arbeitsbereichs Ökonomie am IOS

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Ort: Leibniz-Institut für Ost-und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS), Landshuter Str. 4 (Raum 109)
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13. März 2018

Extra Votes to Signal Loyalty: Regional Political Cycles and National Elections in Russia

Ein Vortrag von Dmitriy Vorobyev (University of Wisconsin-Madison) im Rahmen der Seminarreihe des AB Ökonomie am IOS.
Datum: 13. März 2018
Zeit: 13.30 Uhr
Ort: Leibniz-Institut für Ost-und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS), Landshuter Str. 4 (Raum 109)

Under the system of appointment of regional governors by the president which existed in Russia in 2004–2012, governors' loyalty to central government and especially their ability to deliver satisfactory results to ruling party in national-level elections were crucial to his likelihood of being re-appointed for the next term. In this paper, we test whether governors attempted to increase their likelihood of being re-appointed by delivering additional votes to ruling party. We argue that delivering satisfactory results may have different importance to a governor depending on the stage of his term at which elections are held. If elections are held close to the expiration of a governor's current term, the results are likely to be pivotal to his further political career. Exploiting variation in the starting and expiry dates of Russian regional governors' terms of office, we find that winning margins for a pro-government party across Russian regions in national-level elections held in 2004--2012 were substantially higher when elections are closer to the expiration of a regional governor's term. Contrariwise, in 1999–2003, when governors were subject to a direct vote by regional population, no similar effect is found. We then implement several exercises to identify the source of the additional votes for ruling party, and demonstrate that governors, while unlikely using means of electoral fraud, exerted efforts to stimulate turnout.