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Doyle, O., Fidrmuc, J. (2003). Anatomy of Voting Behavior and Attitudes during Post-Communist Transition: Czech Republic 1990-98. In Nauro F. Campos and Jan Fidrmuc (eds.): Political Economy of Transition and Development

How does implementing harsh economic reforms influence voting behavior? And how do the patterns of political support change over the course of transition? We analyze these issues using data from a sequence of 11 opinion surveys conducted in the Czech Republic between 1990 and 1998. We find that while voters’ ideological position and some socio-economic characteristics, such as age and education, tend to have a stable impact on voting behavior
over time, economic outcomes, such as employment status, income and unemployment, only affect political preferences in the later stages of the transition. This is consistent with the predictions of the theoretical literature on political constraints during transition – as the uncertainty about reform’s outcomes dissipates, constituencies of winners and losers emerge. The winners are the young, educated, high-wage earners and workers employed in de novo
private firms. The losers, on the other hand, are the elderly, low-skilled and low-wage workers and the unemployed. The balance between these two constituencies then determines the support for reform-minded and left-wing parties at election time.

Authors

Doyle, Orla

Dr. Orla Doyle is a senior researcher at the Centre for Human Development and Public Policy in the UCD Geary Institute. She received her Ph.D. from Trinity College Dublin in 2005 and holds a B.A. in economics and political science (TCD). Her research interests include applied microeconometrics,...

Fidrmuc, Jan

Jan Fidrmuc is Senior Lecturer in Economics, Department of Economics and Finance, School of Social Sciences and Centre for Economic Development and Institutions (CEDI), Brunel University, London, UK. He obtained his PhD from the CentER for Economic Research, Tilburg University with a dissertation...

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