News – Details

6. November 2018

Driven by history: The Czech presidential elections

Ein Vortrag von Martin Guzi (Masaryk University, Brno) im Rahmen der Seminarreihe des AB Ökonomie am IOS.
Datum: 6. November 2018
Zeit: 13.30 Uhr
Ort: Leibniz-Institut für Ost-und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS), Landshuter Str. 4 (Raum 109)

We use data from public voting in the Czech presidential elections to show the connection between historical legacies and voting behavior. The issue of the German expulsion and Beneš decrees was raised before the second round of presidential campaign against Karel Schwarzenberg who eventually lost the elections. The analysis of voting behavior is based on results from two rounds of presidential elections organized within 14 days in 2013. Our identification strategy exploits the variation in voting behavior in former-Czech and former-German areas, with latter being affected by the Czechoslovakia’s postwar expulsion of the German population. We hypothesize that the discussion about the validity of Beneš decrees raised concerns about the return of property to original owners only in areas affected by the postwar expulsion and resettlement process. The preliminary results confirm the increase in voter turnout in the second round of election in former-German settlements. We further illustrate the increasing support for a winning candidate (Miloš Zeman) in these settlements and discuss the potential mechanism. By measuring the sensitivity of voting behavior to historical events we bring attention to factors that have impact on voters’ decisions.