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Economic Voting in Russia's Regions: Are Governors Accountable for Regional Performance?

Konitzer-Smirnov, Andrew (2002) Economic Voting in Russia's Regions: Are Governors Accountable for Regional Performance? Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This project examines the role of economic voting in Russian regional executive elections. Drawing upon the traditional economic voting literature and recent works dealing with electoral accountability, the author derives a set of hypotheses concerning the type of voting behavior necessary to hold regional executives accountable for economic performance outcomes and the patterns of election success expected across regional election cycles under conditions of perfect electoral accountability. These hypotheses are then tested at the individual level through analyses of pre-election surveys drawn from the Samara and Ul'yanovsk oblasts' 2000 elections and at the aggregate level through analyses of the entire population of oblast and krai elections that occurred during the 1996-1997 and 2000-2001 election cycles. In marked contrast to the popular discourse surrounding Russia's regional executive elections, results of the survey and aggregate-level analyses suggest the evolution of the basic behavioral, institutional, and procedural requisites of regional executive accountability. Survey respondents demonstrated rather sophisticated calculi of incumbent support that focused upon the perceived conditions of their regions' economies relative to those of other regions. Furthermore, despite a number of highly publicized election scandals occurring during the 2000-2001 election cycle, cross sectional aggregate level analyses of these elections indicate a pattern of incumbent election success that varied with changes in the living standards of regional pensioners and wage-earners. This study carries a number of important implications for both academic and policy-making circles. From a more academic perspective, it applies the traditional economic voting literature to a new set of election cases, provides the first survey-based analysis of attitudes toward Russian regional executives, and tests critical assumptions regarding executives' accountability for their policy-making decisions. Furthermore, it assesses the effectiveness of regional executive elections as a means to drive economic development and improve regional living standards. Finally, it also provides insights into the causes and justifications for the current re-centralization of federal power under Russian President Vladimir Putin and contributes to contemporary scholarly and policy-related discussions regarding the desirability of elected, as opposed to appointed, regional executives.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Konitzer-Smirnov, Andrewackst8@pitt.eduACKST8
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHarris, Jonathanjonharri@pitt.eduJONHARRI
Committee MemberBerkowitz, Danieldmberk@pitt.eduDMBERK
Committee MemberBarker, Daviddbarker@pitt.eduDBARKER
Committee MemberLinden, Ronaldlinden@pitt.eduLINDEN
Date: 15 October 2002
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 10 June 2002
Approval Date: 15 October 2002
Submission Date: 15 July 2002
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: regional economics; regional politics; democracy; federalism; sub-national elections; voting behavior; post-communist transitions; Russian Federation
Other ID:, etd-07152002-120233
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:51
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:45


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