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Did Political Constraints Bind during Transition?
Evidence from Czech Elections 1990-2002 Orla Doyle and Patrick Paul Walsh


We propose that voters, taking stock of endowments from the planning era, could predict whether they would become “winners” or “losers” of transition. Using survey data we measure the percentage of individuals by region who were “not afraid” and “afraid” of economic reform in 1990. We define the former as potential “winners” who should vote for pro-reform parties, while latter are potential “losers” who should support left-wing parties. Using national election results and regional economic indicators, we demonstrate that there is persistence in support for pro-reform and communist parties driven by prospective voting based on initial conditions in 1990. As a result, we show that regional unemployment rates in 2002 are good predictors of regional voting patterns in 1990. Keywords: Political Constraints, Prospective Economic Voting, Initial Conditions.
JEL Classifications: D72, E24, E61

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).