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The economic effects of political institutions: are post-communist countries different?

Introduction

Iversen and Soskice (2005) suggest that the observed variation in income redistribution among developed countries is rooted in historical institutions that go back as far as the 19th century. However, the framework they propose does little to explain the patterns of redistribution in countries such as those in Central and Eastern Europe, that do not seem to fit any of the existing theoretical models. On the other hand, the common past that these countries share builds an expectation regarding the way they approach similar problems, thus justifying the choice of this particular area for our analysis.

This paper analyzes the impact of political institutions such as electoral laws and forms of government on economic policies, focusing on the size of government and the patterns of government spending (broad vs. targeted spending) in post-communist countries. The main goal is to establish if the existing theoretical models and empirical findings on advanced democracies can be extended to young transition democracies or not. The research will follow the causal chain that starts with constitutional rules, looks at their political consequences and in the end identifies the effects that these political circumstances have on economic outcomes.

Apart and alike. Why is the post-communist block different?

The collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the dissolution of the Soviet Union demanded new constitutional orders for the newly created democracies. Yet, a big part of the literature on the political and economic environments that characterize post-communist states does not focus on institutional variables. The common held belief is that these variables are not as relevant in new democracies as they are in the established ones. The argument here is that the democratic process needs time in order for political actors to learn the new mechanisms and adapt. However, the new constitutional rules were as much a consequence of the transition process, as a factor that shaped and constrained the process itself. This means that even if cultural variables (like different perceptions on corruption) and social variables (like the importance of clientelistic or even clan structures) might have had a very strong impact on the political and economic systems of post-communist countries, the role played by institutional variables should not be undermined, but further explored.

However, if there are many elements that distinguish developed democracies from emerging democracies, the assumption that institutions should function similarly in both cases needs to be questioned. Institutional provisions will most likely have political and economic consequences that are different. At the same time, the similarities between the transition processes that all these countries went through and the common traits of their constitutional systems are strong reasons for analyzing post-communist countries separately from other countries that went the way towards democratization.

It is not very common for researchers to address the transformations in all post-communist countries as one. Most prefer to distinguish between Central and Eastern European countries and the ones in Central Asia, though the demarcation lines are never very clear. For the purpose of this analysis, what unites these countries is much more important than what divides them. The stages all these states went through are amazingly similar, even if sometimes the timing was different. We would then expect them to show at least a similar institutional structure, built in response to similar challenges.

The existence of a unique institutional profile further justifies the choice to include all post-communist countries in one group. A series of statistical tests (t-tests and chi-squared) were performed in order to verify whether the assumption that post-communist countries have a distinct institutional profile with strong, specific characteristics, is valid. In order to perform these tests, we employ the cross-sectional section of the Quality of Government Dataset (Teorell et al., 2007) (2). The institutional variables that we should be looking at, according to the literature and the purpose of this study, are: electoral formula (and the variation within different types belonging to the same broad category), district magnitude, ballot structure, electoral threshold, number of legislative chambers, the degree of centralization and the regime type. The analysis is performed by looking at democratic countries, in which those who govern are selected through contested elections as defined in the Golder 2005 database, leaving out countries in which the chief executive is not elected, the legislature is not elected, there is no more than one party, or there has been no alternation in power. The measurement years varied slightly between variables, most of them being recorded in 2000, 2002 or 2006.

There is a significant difference between post-communist countries and other democratic countries in the world when it comes to the electoral formula used in parliamentary elections. There are much less countries that use (at the time of measurement) a majoritarian formula in the group of post-communist countries represented in this database, slightly more proportional systems and much more mixed systems than expected (double than expected, 2(2, N = 107) = 10.98, p < .01), as shown in Table 1.

Even though a prevalence of mixed systems among post-communist countries is noted, tests have been run for more detailed aspects of electoral formulas. The Electoral system design variable from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance has been used for this purpose, and the results show that post-communist countries use much more mixed member proportional systems, parallel systems and two-round systems than expected, and only slightly more list proportional representation systems than expected (2(9, N = 108) = 11.73, p < .05).

A t-test for independent means shows that the district magnitude is significantly bigger in post-communist countries (M=32.18, SD=47.41) than in the rest of the world (M=11.24, SD=23.41), t(93) = 2.75, p = .007. There is no difference between post-communist countries and the rest of the world when it comes to ballot structure (2(1, N = 66) .35, p > .1), the number of legislative chambers 2(1, N = 101) = .28, p > .1), or the existence of sub-national governments (2(1, N = 70) = .26, p > .1) but the vote threshold for representation in the lower house is bigger in this area (M=5.38, SD=5.07) than in others (M=1.67, SD=2.3)), t(79) =4.44,p=.007.

Another characteristic of this area is the prevalence of semi-presidential regimes, double than expected, and the existence of less pure presidential or parliamentary regimes (2(2, N = 108) = 10.28, p < .05). Again, even if the numbers for presidential regimes increase when we include all countries, regardless of their score on democracy, the ones for semi-presidential systems is still high when compared to other regions in the world.

There are several possible explanations for the high number of mixed and semi-presidential systems in this area. The first one would originate in the way decisions on the new constitutional rule were made in most of these countries. Usually, the new institutional framework was the result of a negotiation process among political elites, the two sides being the reformers and the conservatives. While the group which had the lowest (or most divided) support at that time would have been advantaged by a parliamentary system with proportional representation, the strong group would have preferred a presidential system and majority, single member districts. Since the political context was new to both sides, none had enough information about where exactly they were standing in the electorate's preferences, so a compromise solution, with which everybody could agree was that of mixed electoral systems and/or semi-presidentialism (the classical example is that of the Round Table negotiations in regimes distribution by democratic post and non-post-communist countries Poland, which resulted in semi-presidentialism, see Benoit and Hayden, 2004).

Another explanation could be that the constitution designers (seen here as benevolent and non self interested), being able to learn from the experience of other countries, wanted to combine the advantages of both types of systems: the high degree of accountability characteristic to single member districts and presidentialism and the broad representation of interests characteristic to PR systems and parliamentarism (see Shugart and Watenberg, 2001).

Table 3 summarizes the characteristics of post-communist countries as a group, when compared to other countries in the world. It shows that in order belief is reinforced by the equal distribution of number of legislative chambers and level of centralization across post-communist countries and other democracies in the world. That is why the focus should be on the role played by semi-presidentialism in this situation. The next section will review the main theoretical models and empirical studies that to capture the consequences of the mix of constitutional provisions, the focus should fall on the distribution of power and especially on the structure of checks and balances that underlines this distribution. For instance, the combination of lower threshold and higher district magnitudes should lead to more proportionality and broader representation, but since these elements are constrained by the electoral formula, the impact of mixed systems should be assessed.

Table 3. Summary. Characteristics of the region The actual number of veto players is strongly influenced by the regime type and the relations between the parties that control the main institutions. This link the three types of variables that we are interested in: constitutional provisions, characteristics of the political system and government economic policies.
Institutional variables          Characteristic of the area

Electoral formula                Much more mixed systems than
                                   expected
Regime type                      Much more semi-presidential systems
District magnitude               Higher
Ballot structure                 No difference
Electoral threshold              Lower
Number of legislative chambers   No difference
Degree of centralization         No difference


Literature review

1. On the political effects of constitutional provisions (3)

There is a broad literature on the political effects of institutions such as electoral systems and the form of government. The electoral formula used to transform votes into seats, the district magnitude, the ballot structure, the electoral threshold and their effects on the number, size and structure of the party system have been under survey for several decades now, through the work of scholars such as Lijphart (1994, 1999), Cox (1990, 1997), Sartori (1994), Taagepera and Shugart (1989).

Most of these studies have focused on the distinction between proportional representation systems (PR), plurality systems and mixed systems that combine some elements of both. Researchers such as Rae (1969), Lijphart (1990), Rose (1983), Norris (1997) have focused on the tension between accountability (higher under plurality rule, in single member districts and when the ballot is not on a closed list) and broad representation of interests (higher under PR rule, big magnitude districts and low thresholds). Others, like Taagepera (1984, 1986; Taagepera and Shugart, 1989) focused on assessing the importance of district magnitude for determining the proportionality of an electoral system. As Kenneth Benoit shows (2001), district magnitude and the electoral formula used to translate votes into seats are strongly linked, and the effects of district magnitude are strongly biased when the electoral system variable is omitted.

With respect to post-communist countries, Birch (2003) finds that the single-member districts are indeed associated with less parliamentary parties in post-communist countries overall, but that the effect is not so clear in the former Soviet states (2001, p. 137), where single member districts can also have a fragmenting effect. At the same time, she finds that at least in Central Europe, mixed systems have a moderating effect on the size of the party system, but this result is contingent upon the degree of social and cultural fragmentation. The study also finds that personal vote tends to fragment the party system but finds no significant effects of other variables such as the regime type and the degree of democratization. The reason for this might be that the study does not properly cover the countries in Central Asia and there is a lot of missing data for the countries of the former Republic of Yugoslavia.

Moser (1995) studies the mixed electoral contest held in Russia in 1993 and finds that contrary to the common held view, single member districts led to a proliferation of small parties, while proportional representation reduced the number of parties. Moser's explanation for this is a cultural one: the tendency of Russians to support charismatic independent candidates rather than party candidates. But Clark and Wittrock's (2005) explanation for the same phenomenon is an institutional one: it is actually strong executives that reduce the incentives for parties to control the legislative agenda, thus weakening parties, lowering the competition levels and allowing small competitors to make it to the top.

Scholars such as Linz (1993), Shugart and Carey (1992) and Horowitz (1993) have focused on the differences between presidential and parliamentary regimes, mainly in terms of power concentration. Thus, presidentialism is characterized by the separation of power between the executive and legislative branches, which increases the number of veto players in the system and presumably increases accountability, while in a parliamentary democracy the head of the executive has the support of the parliament, which facilitates the decision making process and can increase responsiveness.

2. On the economic effects of constitutional provisions

Relatively recently, researchers have started paying attention to the link between electoral institutions and economic policies, and the authors that have analyzed this problem in greater detail are Torsten Persson and Guido Tabellini (2000, 2003, 2006, 2007 with Gerard Roland). This research will start from the theoretical model they are building in the book "The Economic Effects of Constitutions" (2003) and will test some of their results for post-communist countries, while at the same time adding some new elements to their framework. They are taking into consideration three important electoral rules: the electoral formula, the district magnitude and the ballot structure, and try to capture the effects they have on fiscal policy, rent extraction and economic performance.

Persson and Tabellini link economic factors to the form of government, but they fail to reach significant results with respect to economic performance. They find that corruption and rent seeking behavior are associated with list voting (especially when the lists are closed) and larger district sizes, and that majoritarian elections induce narrow spending, decrease overall government spending and also public deficits. On the other hand, presidentialism seems to reduce the size of government and public spending.

Studies run on new democracies, however, find no relation between institutional variables and economic policies. Philip Keefer (2005) is comparing old and new democracies and reaches the conclusion that political and electoral institutions make no difference when it comes to government economic policies, and that actually the variable that makes politicians under-provide non-targeted goods and over-provide targeted goods in young democracies is the inability to make credible commitments to voters.

Given post-communist countries' particular traits, the focus should be on the effects of semi-presidentialism and mixed electoral systems. However, few studies have addressed this issue. Thames and Edwards (2006) analyze the relation between mixed member systems and government spending, and their study covers most of the mixed systems existent in post-communist countries between 1990 and 2000. They find that mixed member systems in which the proportional component prevails are associated with higher levels of government spending than the ones in which the majoritarian part is more important. On the other hand the study does not provide a comparison between mixed systems and the other two types of electoral systems, proportional representation and majoritarian, which would be relevant for this area.

Persson and Tabellini (2006) cover over 80 democracies in their study, but only 10 of these are post-communist countries, almost all being countries in Central and Eastern Europe. By looking at all post-communist countries, we would have enough variation among electoral systems, regime types and other political institutions to be able to say whether their results for the area hold or not.

3. On political systems and economic policies

Electoral laws might influence economic policies thorough the changes they produce in the political system. Iversen and Soskice (2006) show is that in majoritarian electoral systems, which favor a two-party system, the middle class will rather vote for the rightwing party because it is afraid that the leftwing party will increase taxes in order to redistribute to the poor, while in a proportional system with three parties, under the assumption that the poor should always receive more than the middle class and the middle class more than the rich, the middle class would rather vote for the center-left party. If we take on the hypothesis that the ideological orientation of the government has an impact on the size of public spending, and proportional representation favors center-left governments (which have a propensity for increased spending), then we have found one of the mechanism through which the electoral system affects the size of government.

The partisan theory says that the ideological inclination of the government is affecting the size and type of government spending. However, there is no clear consensus in the literature on whether the theory is indeed true or not, and researchers keep finding conflicting evidence. Blais, Blake and Dion (1993) show that leftwing governments spend more than rightwing governments. On the other hand, researchers like Imbeau, Petri and Lamari (2001, p. 1191) show that "the average correlation between the party composition of government and policy outputs is not significantly different from zero".

In order to account for the amount of money a government spends, other authors have been focusing on the number of parties running in the elections, the number of parties represented in the parliament, the share of the votes received by the winning party, the number of parties in the government coalition and the share of votes they represent. Bawn and Rosenbluth (2006) use data on 17 Western European democracies to show that the size of the public sector increases with the number of parties in the government coalition. On the other hand, their study finds no relation between the overall number of legislative parties and government spending. Persson, Roland and Tabellini (2003, 2007) find that single party governments spend less than coalition governments, and the main reason for this is the existence of an "electoral common pool problem" within coalition governments, where parties in the coalition do not fully internalize the fiscal costs of spending.

Most of the studies mentioned so far exclude post-communist countries. Christine Lipsmeyer (2000) brings evidence from six post-communist countries in support of the partisan theory. She finds that leftwing governments tend to spend slightly more than rightwing governments, but that there is also a difference in the patterns of spending for different budgetary components. Consequently, the spending pattern has an impact on the total size of the government. However, Lipsmeyer's findings cannot be generalized for the whole region, mainly since her data comes from only six post-communist countries which are all clustered in Central Europe and are the most developed ones in the list of post-communist countries in the region.

Data and methods

1. Country selection

The analysis includes 27 ex-communist countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Other studies have usually focused on geographical areas that separate these countries, such as Central and Eastern Europe or Central Asia, but as we have seen, such a division fails to capture the important common denominator of all these countries: their communist past and the fact that they started the transition process at approximately the same time, being confronted with similar political and economic problems. Since most of these countries had new constitutions and new electoral rules by 1993, the study will cover the 12 years period between 1993 and 2004. The upper limit had to be set because of missing data constraints.

The data employed was drawn from the Quality of Governance dataset (Teorell et al., 2007). Additional data came from the Comparative Data Set for 28 Post-Communist Countries, 1989-2006 (Armingeon and Careja, 2006) of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (Module II, 2007). Since no database which combines all the political and economic variables for these countries exists, it will be created by gathering the economic data and adding it to the political indicators. The size of government is provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). For the type of government spending the only data source are the IMF government finance yearbooks, which were reproduced in the EBRD dataset.

2. Research questions

Are the political effects of constitutional provisions in post-communist countries consistent with the findings that refer to advanced democracies? I will be looking at the party system but also at the relative political power that is given to political actors under different institutional settings. One important aspect that has been largely ignored in the literature regards the difference between different formulae in proportional systems. Given the fact that some of them favor large parties while others favor small parties, this could prove important when looking at the number of parties in the government coalition. Another aspect that should be considered is the fact that constitutional provisions other than electoral rules and the form of government can also have an impact on the number of veto players in the system (see Tsebelis, 1999). The federal or centralized character of the system, the size of the winning coalition and the distinction between unicameralism and bicameralism (Lijphart, 1999) should also be considered and incorporated in the analysis.

Are the relations between constitutional rules and economic policies in post-communist countries the same as those in other countries? I will specifically be looking at the relation between detailed electoral rules and the other relevant institutions identified earlier on one side, and the size of government and the patterns of spending on the other. Since usually studies on the post-communist transition have focused on corruption and rent seeking behavior, this aspect will be left out from this study. With respect to the overall size of governments, the most used measure. in basically all other studies, is government spending as percent of GDP, though Persson and Tabellini also consider central government revenues as percent of GDP In this study I will be using the first measure. Since the period under analysis starts with 1993, there will be no problems with finding data for post-communist countries.

How do specific characteristics of the political system shape economic policies? I will take into account the number of legislative parties, the number of parties in government, the patterns of electoral competition and coalition formation, and the ideological orientation of the parties in government. The number of veto players is another variable that has been included in the systemic variables category, and not among the institutional variables, because it is the de facto number of veto players that will be taken into consideration (for instance, cases in which there formally exists a second chamber but it has no real powers in the decision making process are not considered to have an extra veto point). The purpose here is to see exactly how the mechanism that leads to certain economic policies functions, where the variation in government spending comes from most importantly, what affects the composition of spending.

Table 4 shows the expected relations between constitutional, systemic and economic variables.

The final aim of this analysis is to see whether young post-communist democracies follow the trends set by mature democracies or, on the contrary, the relations between political institutions and economic policies in post-communist countries are significantly different and can be better explained by alternate models.

3. Methods

A series of linear least squares models were estimated. Since the study uses cross-sectional time-series data, dummy variables for countries and time were created and introduced in the models (time was introduced for the variables for which we believe it to be relevant). In order to deal with the missing data issue we used the Amelia (II) and Zelig packages for multiple imputations (see King, Honaker and Blackwell, 2007) However, some countries, were still completely removed from parts of the analysis. The study will report the results of both the analysis that handles missing data with list-wise deletion and the results of the analysis that uses multiple imputation.

The first part of the empirical analysis looks at the way constitutional provisions shape the political environment in post-communist countries; the second one focuses on the way particular characteristics of this environment influence the size and type of government spending, and the last one looks at the direct relation between constitutional rules and government spending. Some of the intriguing results will be briefly analyzed in the fifth chapter and the last part of the paper will present the conclusions and suggest future lines of inquiry.

Empirical testing

The variables that are used in the analysis are:

Constitutional variables

Regime type--dummies for the three types of regime were created, and the reference category was set as parliamentarism. The dummies are PRESID and SEMIPRES, and most of the data, comes from the classification of Gerring et al. (2005), reproduced in the QoG database.

Electoral system--dummies for the three types of electoral systems were also created, with the reference category being proportional representation. The dummies are MIXED and MAJORIT, and the main source from which they were compiled is the Electoral system design variable from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, reproduced in the QoG dataset.

District magnitude--for statistical purposes, the logarithm of the average district magnitude was used in all the models, LogMDM.

Ballot structure--a dummy that captures whether the system uses closed or open lists was created, CLOSED, but since we want to use in the analysis is actually a measure of the openness of the system to the will of the citizens, single member districts in which there are no party lists were also coded as open (0).

Electoral threshold--the legal threshold is used, THRESH, since what we are trying to capture is the degree of constrains imposed on the number of parties that can win seats in the parliament. For majoritarian systems, the threshold was set to zero if the plurality rule was used and .5 if majority rule was used.

Legislative chambers--BICAMER is the dummy for bicameralism, zero if there is only one legislative chamber and 1 if there are two.

Federalism--FEDERAL is the dummy variable for federal as opposed to unitary states.

Political system variables

Majority/minority government--GOVMAJ is the variable from the Database of Political Institutions (DPI, Beck et al, 2001), and it represents the percent of seats that the government party or coalition controls in the legislative.

Checks and balances--CHECKS represents the number of veto players, from the same database.

Government ideology--GOVIDEO takes values from 1 to 3, one corresponding to left governments and 3 to right wing governments. It was compiled by using various sources, among which the DPI and the Dataset of 28 Post-communist countries.

Proportionality--DISPROP is actually the degree of disproportionality of the system, the discrepancy between vote share and seats share, as measured by the Gallagher index. Of very much help filling in the missing cases was Micheal Gallagher's excel file for calculating the 3 indices that are widely used in the analysis of elections: least squares index, effective number of elective parties and effective number of legislative parties (available online, Gallagher, 2008).

Legislative fragmentation--LEGFRAC

Government fragmentation--GOVFRAC, from the DPI.

Economic variables

Size of government--the government expenditure as percent of GDP data were retrieved from the EBRD dataset on all post-communist countries.

Type of spending--the variable represents the share of government spending on subsidies and transfer in the total government expenditure. It was created by dividing the "Subsidies and current transfers (in percent of GDP)" variable from the EBRD dataset to the "Government expenditure (as percent of GDP)", from the same dataset.

1. Effects of constitutional rules on the political system Several models that link constitutional rules with characteristics of the political system are being tested in this subsection.

The first model is testing whether the degree of proportionality of the electoral system, measured through the Gallagher index of disproportionality, is influenced by the same variables as the ones that have usually been identified in the literature. Testing this relation is important as a pre-step towards the next models, where we are looking at the degree of fractionalization. It would be important to see how the variables that we are taking into account influence the translation of votes into seats, and if they do it the way we would expect them to, since otherwise it would not be reasonable to make further assumptions about the voters' and parties' behavior that would lead to a change in the number of legislative or governmental parties. The model is:

DISPROP = MIXED + MAJORIT + LogMDM + THRESH + DEMOCR

For the model without multiple imputations, the adjusted R squared is .35, F(199) = 22.61, p < .01. Azerbaijan, Belarus, Mongolia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are completely removed from the analysis due to lack of data. All the variables are significant at the 95% level, except for the dummy for majoritarian system, which is significant at 90% level and the legal threshold for legislative representation which fails to reach statistical significance. All the variables have the expected sign, which implies that the translation of votes into seats follows the same rules in post communist countries as in the rest of the world. Disproportionality increases when proportional representation is not used and when the district magnitude is small.

On the other hand, by running the same model, but this time after using Amelia to fill in the missing cells, we only get significant results for one of the five variables that we considered to be important: district magnitude. This is in accordance with the findings of other researchers who have concluded that when proper controls were introduced, the district magnitude is the only factor that significantly influences proportionality Since there were so many countries that were initially eliminated from the analysis, when they are now introduced the variation is bigger and the results change. The coefficients of the regression analysis are presented in Table 5.

In the second model the dependent variable is the degree of legislative fractionalization. The purpose is to see which of the constitutional variables have an impact on the number of legislative parties, and to assess the direction and strength of these relations. We expect the number of parties in the parliament to increase with district magnitude and the level of ethno-linguistic fractionalization in the country. We also expect it to be lower in a majority/plurality or mixed electoral system, where the lists are closed (since this measure is supposed to strengthen the parties) and when the thresholds are high. The model equation is:

LEGFRAC = MIXED + MAJORIT + LogMDM + THRESH + CLOSED + ETHNFR + DEMOCR

For the first version of the model, without multiple imputations, the adjusted R squared is .42, F(256) = 7.252, p < .01, and the countries that were eliminated from the analysis are Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Some of the relations run in the expected direction: an increase in the vote threshold leads to a decrease in the number of legislative parties while better democracy scores are associated with an increase in legislative fractionalization (which is natural given the time spam covered in the analysis, which coincides with the transition from single parties systems to pluralism). The ballot structure does not seem to have a significant impact on the number of legislative parties, and with dummies for the countries, neither do the district magnitude and the degree of ethno-linguistic fractionalization. Contrary to initial expectations, moving from proportional representation (which is the baseline category) to a majority or plurality system does not lead to a decrease, but to an increase in the number of parties. The relation is highly significant (p<.01). The same is true about moving from proportional representation to a mixed system (p<.01). These results hold, and are statistically significant in the Amelia version of the model as well. On the other hand, in the second analysis, the statistical significance for the legal threshold is lost.

The next step would be to assess the relation between constitutional variables and government fractionalization, since the number of legislative and governmental parties are strongly related. Again, we expect the level of fractionalization to Increase with district magnitude and the level of ethno-linguistic fractionalization in the country, and decrease for systems that do not use proportional representation, have closed lists and high thresholds. We also expect the number of parties in the government coalition to be influenced by the regime type (decrease in presidential regimes) and the existence of either one or two decision chambers (since governments are proven to be less stable In bicameral systems).

The model has government fractionalization as Independent variable:

GOVFRAC = SEMIPRES + PRESID + MIXED + MAJORIT + LogMDM + THRESH + CLOSED + BICAM + FEDERAL + ETHNFR + DEMOCR

Without multiple imputations, Bosnia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan had to be removed from the analysis, and the value of the adjusted R squared after controlling is: .50, F(249) = 8.84, p < .01. Most of the independent variables in the model reach statistical significance, and among them, again, like in the previous model, we have the dummy for majoritarian electoral system, which Indicates an increase in government fractionalization when moving from proportional representation to a mixed or majority/plurality system. Other two significant variables are democracy and closed lists. Moving from a parliamentary system to either a semi-presidential or presidential one decreases the number of parties in the government coalition and so do bigger electoral thresholds and larger districts. The relation between district magnitude and the number of parties in the government coalition contradicts the theory, since we would have expected to see more parties in the government where districts are larger, and allow for a broad representation of interest. Ethno-linguistic fractionalization, the existence of two legislative chambers and federalism do not have a statistically significant impact on the degree of government fractionalization.

The results do not change much when the missing data are treated with multiple imputations. We basically have the same or very similar results for democracy, the electoral system and the regime variables. However, some of the coefficients are no longer significant (district magnitude and ballot structure). On the other hand, the result for electoral threshold changes dramatically. If in the first case we could see that government fractionalization increases with the electoral threshold, which we found surprising, when the empty cells are being filled the relation changes in the expected direction: the higher the threshold, the lesser parties we have in the government coalition. This puzzle will be addressed in the next chapter. Federalism and ethno-linguistic fractionalization also seem to playa significant role for the number of governmental parties, both of them increasing government fractionalization.

The literature suggests that not only government fractionalization has an impact on the size of government, but also the percent of the legislature that is controlled by the government. The next model will test this connection. We expect the independent variables to behave in the same in relation to the dependent variable.

GOVMAJ = SEMIPRES + PRESID + MIXED + MAJORIT + LogMDM + THRESH + CLOSED + BICAM + ETHNFR + DEMOCR

Few of the variables are statistically significant, and the analysis without multiple imputations is excluding Bosnia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan; dummies for the countries were introduced, as in all the previous models, and the [R.sup.2] is .50, F(254) = 13.52, p < .01. As expected, when moving from proportional representation to either a mixed electoral system or a majority/plurality system, the incidence of large governments decreases. The dummy for semi-presidential regime reaches statistical significance at a 90% confidence level. The more democratic a country is, the smaller the government majority. This result seems to be a characteristic of post-communist countries in transition.

The intriguing relation is that between the regime type and the type of government. A change from a parliamentary regime to a presidential regime would increase the share of legislative seats controlled by the government party or coalition. A change towards a semi-presidential system would reduce the seats share controlled by the government, and both relations are statistically significant, p<.01 This result confirms the theory according to which semi-presidential regimes are characterized by a low degree of coordination between the executive and the legislative, making it difficult for the two branches to reach agreements, thus leading to a reduction in government and narrow spending. This seems to be happening even when we exclude the bias resulting from the exclusion of these three countries. We no longer see a relation between mixed systems and government majority, but we do see that higher vote thresholds and ethno-linguistic fractionalization decrease the percent of legislative seats controlled by the government.

The last model that links the institutional and the systemic variables is testing the hypothesis that the ideological orientation of the government is influenced by the electoral system. We are assuming that parliamentarism is associated with a concentration of power that would lead to increased spending, and since it is believed that left governments are the ones that spend more on redistribution, we are also checking the relation between government ideology and regime type.

IDEOGOV = SEMIPRES + PRESID + MIXED + MAJORIT + DEMOCR

The model has an adjusted R squared of .50, F(296) = 10.91, p < .01. Bosnia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan had to be eliminated from the analysis due to lack of data, and besides the country dummies, we also introduced years in the analysis. The results are surprising: we should have seen a positive sign for the MIXED and MAJORIT dummies, corresponding to an increase on the scale from left to right, but instead, the results show that when moving from proportional representation to majority or mixed systems, governments tend to be placed more often on the left of the political spectrum (though the coefficient is statistically significant only for majoritarian systems).

We see more right-wing governments in semi-presidential systems, but the relation between presidentialism and government ideology is not statistically significant. Almost the same results are obtained after dealing with missing data by using Amelia. Semi-presidentialism is associated with right-wing governments and majority/plurality elections with left-wing ruling. Possible explanations for this finding are being offered in the next chapter.

2. Effects of constitutional rules on the size of government and the patterns of government spending

The first model is testing the link between constitutional variables and government expenditure as percent of GDP According to the literature, we should expect lower levels of government spending in semi-presidential and presidential regimes, under mixed and majoritarian electoral systems, where district magnitude is small, thresholds are high and where there is a federal state structure. The logic behind this is that of representation: the more interests are represented in the political system, the more government spending. The adjusted R squared for the OLS model without multiple imputations and after introducing country dummies and having controlled for time is .84, F(219) = 33.2, p < .01.

GOVSPEN = SEMIPRES + PRESID + MIXED + MAJORIT + LogMDM + THRESH + CLOSED + BICAMER + FEDERAL + LogGDP + DEMOCR

According to the literature, government spending in semi-presidential and presidential regimes should be smaller than in parliamentary systems. This hypothesis holds for post-communist countries as well, but only when we look at semi-presidentialism in comparison to parliamentarism. District magnitude is also positively associated with spending, and surprisingly, contrary to the theory, so is the threshold value. We would expect higher thresholds to limit the number of parties in the parliament and thus force the government to take into consideration and try to satisfy various interests, which translates into more general spending.

Democracy and GDP per capita are positively associated with the share of government spending out of total GDP Surprisingly, government spending decreases when the lists are closed, which contradicts the theory that increased individual accountability is associated with lower overall spending. Another intriguing finding is related to the electoral system variables. While moving from PR to either a mixed or a majoritarian system seems to decrease government spending (both relations are statistically significant), a change from PR to a majority/plurality system is associated with a smaller decrease in government spending, than one from PR to a mixed system.

The analysis with Amelia and Zelig confirm some of these findings while at the same time suggesting that others might be due to a bias in the distribution of missing data. In this model we find that a move from parliamentarism to presidentialism would decrease government spending. The reason for observing such a dramatic change will be detailed in the section that tries to solve all these new puzzles discovered in the area. Most of the other relations do not change much with multiple imputations as compared to the list wise deletion case, but some of them lose statistical significance (the electoral threshold and democracy).

For the second model of this section, which looks at the type of government spending, the adjusted R squared is .95, F(185) = 103.0, p < .01. Dummies for countries were introduced, and also for the years, since we are expecting government spending to be influenced by time. Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are not introduced in this analysis due to missing data problems.

NARSPEN = GOVSPEN = SEMIPRES + PRESID + MIXED + MAJORIT + LogMDM + CLOSED + BICAMER + FEDERAL + LogGDP + DEMOCR

The logic of accountability should be functioning in this model as well, and we expect an increase in accountability to be associated with a decrease in the propensity to spend on narrow goods. We also expect the variables that help concentrating the political power to be positively correlated with narrow spending (semi-presidentialism and presidentialism, mixed and majoritarian systems as opposed to PR systems, the existence of a single chamber and unitary states).

The factors that are positively correlated with a bigger share of subsidies and transfers in the government spending are presidentialism, a federal state structure and democracy. Again, the sign of the CLOSED variable is negative. Closed electoral lists entail less individual accountability, which means that legislators can decide to vote for narrow transfers without being afraid of being held accountable. However, in this case, closed lists lead to less spending on narrow goods. The puzzles from the previous model appear here as well: we have less narrow spending in semi-presidential systems when compared to parliamentary systems, but more targeted transfers in presidential systems. We also see slightly more targeted spending in mixed electoral systems than in majoritarian systems, as compared to the baseline situation when there are elections based on proportional representation, though both are negative, which would suggest that we have narrower spending under PR than under any other system. This result is surprising because there is no theoretical explanation for it, and according to the literature, it should be the other way around.

On the other hand, the second analysis, which is using multiple imputations, sends a warning sign that the results might look like this because of a bias in the distribution of the missing data. The only variable which maintains statistical significance when the empty cells have been filled through this method is semi-presidentialism. As in the analysis with list wise deletion, a move form PR to semi-presidentialism reduces the tendency of the governments to spend more on narrow transfers and subsidies. The only other variable that comes close to reaching statistical significance here is the dummy for federalism, which would suggest that federal governments target more.

3. Economic effects through the political system

The two models in this section look at the relations between economic policies and political system characteristics. According to the literature and previous empirical studies, we expect more government spending where the legislative system is more fractionalized, where there are more parties in the government coalition, and the government is leftist. On the other hand, if there are more checks, government spending should be be lower. Regarding government majority, theoretical arguments can be brought for both sides of the relation. When the government has a relaxed majority in the legislature, government spending could either increase, because the executive has more discretionary power and is less controlled, or it could decrease because the pressure coming from other groups than the one represented by the government party or coalition is not being felt.

The adjusted R squared for the first model, which has government spending as independent variable is .82, F(228) = 38.1, p < .01. Without multiple imputations Bosnia is removed from the analysis.

GOVSPEN = LEGFRAC + GOVFRAC + GOVMAJ + IDEOGOV + CHECKS + LogGDP + DEMOCR

Government spending is positively associated with the share of seats controlled by the government and the level of democracy. These relations are statistically significant and the signs for the coefficients are as expected. The variable for the number of veto players on the other hand is also associated with increased spending, and this finding has no theoretical foundation, since the existence of more veto players should favor the status quo. Government fractionalization and the GDP per capita, on the other hand, both reduce government spending. The sign of the IDEOGOV coefficient could indicate that left governments tend to spend more, but statistical significance is far from being reached for this variable.

The results change when multiple imputations are employed. The coefficients for government fractionalization and government majority maintain their sign but they lose statistical significance. The only variables that still have a significant impact on the size of government spending in these circumstances are the GDP per capita and the number of veto players. Both of them have the same signs as when list wise deletion was used for missing data, so the question about their meaning in this context remains.

The last model's adjusted R squared is .91, F(190) 76.8, p < .01, and as in the previous model, dummies for the countries were introduced. The missing countries are Bosnia and Moldova.

NARSPEN = LEGFRAC + GOVFRAC + GOVMAJ + IDEOGOV + CHECKS + LogGDP + DEMOCR

As expected, the more parties in the parliament, the less inclined is the government to spend on targeted transfers and subsidies. Again, surprisingly, the existence of more veto players seems to lead to more targeted spending, but the coefficient is not significant at an acceptable level. The richer the country, the less the government spends on fulfilling narrow interests, but targeted spending increases with the score for democracy, which is somehow surprising. Again, the sign for ideological orientation of the government is negative, suggesting that parties on the right practice less targeted spending than those on the left. The result is statistically significant.

Some of these results change when the missing data is treated through multiple imputations. Stronger governments seem to be associated with more narrow spending, which would suggest that when governments have more freedom to take decisions they decide to target more. On the other hand, this explanation does not go along well with the finding about the number of veto players: the more veto players, the larger the increase in the share of transfers and subsidies in overall government spending. The only result that is maintained with or without Amelia is the one on the ideological orientation of governments: right wing governments target less.

Collecting the new puzzle pieces

Several intriguing results have emerged from the empirical analysis, and the real task would be to account for these surprising findings.

1. The relation between the electoral system and the degree of legislative fractionalization.

The first puzzle that needs to be addressed is the fact that for post-communist countries the number of legislative parties does not decrease in mixed and majoritarian systems as compared to PR systems.

One explanation for this might be the theory according to which majoritarian systems favor territorially concentrated minorities, thus leading to an increase in the number of represented parties. A minority which is concentrated enough to actually form the majority in some districts could gain more seats under majoritarian elections than it would have gained under proportional representation. This could lead to an increase in the overall number of parties represented in the legislative.

Another possible explanation might rest with the propensity towards the creation of parties that serve the ambitions of individual elite members, which has been observed in post-communist countries during the transition period. Since the new parties had to be created from scratch, there was no clear ideological or even social division around which they could have formed, The existing elite had the same background, in the old communist structures. With no real distinction in the positions adopted on political and economic issues by the candidates, voters had to use another instrument to help them make voting decisions. That instrument was the personality of the political leader. If this pattern keeps perpetuating, there are no real incentives for parties to coalesce and form strong political bodies.

2. Closed lists and bigger districts increase the number of parties in the government coalition.

This is surprising because we would expect closed lists to increase the power of parties and reduce the incentives to split or to form new political organizations, which in turn would lead to fewer parties in the system and less members needed to form a government coalition. However, since the relation does not hold when using Amelia, it means that the results were biased. This might be due to the fact that the missing data problem is bigger for countries that use open lists, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina during the past years. In the same category we have included all the countries in which elections take place in single member districts under majority/plurality rule and the parties have no say as to who can run in elections and who cannot (the personal vote in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan).

A similar explanation can also work for the negative relation between the number of governmental parties and district magnitude. We would have expected to see more parties in the government coalition where district size allows for broad representation of interests. Since the relation loses its strength when Amelia is used, this points to the fact that missing data countries such as Tajikistan where we have single member districts and a low number of government parties (partly related to the degree of democracy) were occupying a large share of the total missing case, and were biasing the results.

3. The relation between the regime type and the type of government.

As we have seen, a change from a parliamentary regime to a presidential one would increase the share of legislative seats controlled by the government party or coalition, while a change towards a semi-presidential system would reduce the seats share controlled by the government. The result is consistent when applying multiple imputations. The first explanation for this that comes in mind is related to the level of democratization, which tends to be lower for presidential systems. Given that in our model we controlled for democracy, the explanation must be related to something else.

Another explanation could be that semi-presidentialism is creating two poles of executive power. Thus overall it is lowering the power of the executive branch, and increasing the chances for tensions between the president and the prime-minister. Especially when there is a coalition of parties in power, it is a common practice to have the president from one party and the prime-minister from another party. The conflicts between the two can generate government stability problems, semi-presidentialism also being known for the difficulty to solve crises.

If the impact of semi-presidentialism can be explained as such, it is still surprising to see a reduction in the size of legislative seats controlled by the government in a presidential system as compared to a parliamentary system. If the executive has powers that are fairly independent from those of the legislative, why would we not see smaller government coalitions under presidentialism? Probably the transition context in these countries for this time period is the explanation. Faced with the possibility of political unrest, which is usually higher during transition, it could be assumed that presidents have been searching for large popular approval, thus enlarging the government coalition.

4. Governments tend to be placed more often on the left side of the political spectrum in majoritarian systems.

This contradicts the existing theoretical framework. Again, the weight of less advanced democratic systems that use majority/plurality systems (most of them in Central Asia) seems to be significantly large, but the effects are not given by their democracy scores, since we have controlled for them. The best type of explanations for this phenomenon would probably be a cultural one. We ccould presume that in post-communist countries there is a connection between the desire to choose a majoritarian electoral system and the preference for left-wing governments. However, further research into this subject is needed in order to decide if this is indeed a long term characteristic of the area or it is specific to the transition phase.

5. Government spending increases with thresholds.

We would expect higher thresholds to be limiting the number of parties in the parliament and thus force the government to take into consideration and try to satisfy various interests. This would translate into more general spending. Our analysis shows that exactly the opposite is happening. On the other hand, the fact that this is no longer a significant finding for the multiple imputations analysis suggests that some low threshold countries that have high government spending were excluded in the first case. Most of these are countries such as Belarus and Uzbekistan that have a threshold of zero (since they are using plurality systems) but at the same time have large government. When data for these missing cases is imputed, the relation between thresholds and government spending is blurred.

6. Government spending decreases when the lists are closed.

This finding contradicts the theory that increased individual accountability is associated with lower overall spending. Moreover, closed lists are associated with less narrow spending, and both findings contradict the results of other studies that have been looking at advanced democracies (for instance Persson and Tabellini, 2003), and are also incompatible with the other discovered effects of closed lists: that of increasing the number of parties in the government coalition. In this situation, we have to ask whether this is happening because there is another variable that has not been identified and that has a strong effect on government spending in this area, while at the same time being correlated with closed party lists. This would seem like a reasonable explanation, but more in depth research has to be performed in order to see if this is indeed the case. Another logical answer might be that the accountability argument does not apply to countries in transition. Again, in this situation a new theoretical model would have to be built and tested, which would go beyond the scope of this study.

7. The sign of the PRESID coefficient in the government spending model changes with multiple imputations.

Moving from PR to semi-presidentialism reduces government spending, but the results change for presidentialism before and after using Amelia. This is explainable when looking at the data that was missing: we have presidential systems associated with low government spending in countries such as Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, which are exactly the ones that had the missing data problems. So in the end we could conclude that the relation between regime type and government spending follows the same laws as those observed in other studies.

8. Semi-presidentialism spends less on narrow goods, presidentialism more.

It does not seem surprising that presidentialism is associated with more targeting, if we think that in presidentialism we can have a smaller government coalition deciding to distribute to well defined, narrow interests, but this is in conflict with the relation between the government coalition size and the regime type which we have previously discussed. This means that even if governments are large in presidential systems, the redistribution is still narrow. Some cultural theories would suggest that this is actually happening because of the socio-economic structure in these countries, where clan relations are found both at the political and economic level. Narrow redistribution would then be directed not to economic interests outside the political sphere, but within the political-economic sphere itself. Such a theory needs to be rigorously tested in order to see if it is true particularly with respect to post-communist countries (Herbert Kitschelt's book on clientelism 2007--would be a good starting point in this endeavor).

Another interesting issue that needs to be addressed here is the fact that semi-presidential systems spend less on targeted goods. This would suggest that the theories according to which the middle way between presidentialism and parliamentarism could prove to be the best solution for transition countries are to some extent confirmed. We have also checked if the relation holds when the baseline category is presidentialism, and it does. In this situation, we would need a model that can explain the mechanisms through which semi-presidentialism manages to deal with the ills of narrow spending. It might be that government instability, which is to some extent associated with semi-presidentialism is in fact a good thing in this situation. The relation might go from instability to increased competitiveness and to more responsible governments that feel the pressure to restrict their targeted spending. Such a hypothesis needs to be tested.

9. Narrower spending under PR than under any other system.

This result is surprising because there is no theoretical explanation for it, and according to the literature, it should be the other way around, and proportional representation should ensure a broad representation of interests. On the other hand, the particular circumstances that existed in these countries during this period should be taken into consideration. A transition towards market economy always entails the need for increased social protection for some categories, and this would mean that countries that have moved to free economies fast and have given a large amount of freedom to the markets are the ones that had to spend more on targeted benefits. Since these are generally the countries in Central Europe who also use PR to a larger extent, the finding is not surprising. Still, it would be interesting for future studies to see if indeed the results change when we control for the speed and intensity of liberalization.

10. Increased government spending and narrow spending are favored by the existence of more veto players.

This finding again contradicts all our theoretical points of departure and also the results of other empirical studies. Where it is harder for political actors so take decisions unilaterally, it should also be harder to reach an agreement that would change the status quo. But in post-communist countries we seem to be seeing the exact opposite of this phenomenon. This could be related to the level of economic and political development, but while both of them have been controlled for in the model there is still a strong independent effect of the checks variable that is hard to explain. Until more detailed analysis are performed to see the relation between the number of veto players and the political and economic environment, this part of the puzzle will remain unsolved.

Conclusions

We have seen that post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe have adopted institutional structures that are significantly different from what we would have normally expected given the experience of more advanced democracies. This peculiarity of the region also translates into a different functioning of the mechanisms that link constitutional, political and economic variables. The empirical analysis has revealed a few unexpected relations, and the previous section has attempted to provide possible explanations for these results. Some of the findings, however, are completely out of our existing theoretical framework, and would require closer attention. We would need to check if our results can be more generally associated with simultaneous political and economic transitions or they are truly characteristic to post-communist countries. If what we capture here is the effect of simultaneous transitions, then we should expect similar results for other newly emerging democracies as well, but only for a short period, until the transition process is over. However, if our results truly reveal the characteristics of post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe, then we would expect them to stand the test of time and hold for the decades to come.

Probably one of the most important findings of this study is related to the impact of two categories that have previously been largely excluded from empirical studies, but are very important in this area: mixed electoral systems and semi-presidential regimes. Both of these categories reduce overall government spending and also the amount that is being spent on targeted transfers and subsidies. This might suggest that the middle way solution that has been chosen by many post-communist states can prove to be a good solution in the end. However, we still need to establish the mechanisms through which this is happening and provide solid theoretical grounds for the empirical findings.

Our initial hypothesis that in post-communist countries constitutional variables have an impact on economic outcomes only through the political environment proved to be wrong. The relations between these three categories are much more complicated than expected, and we have seen that sometimes constitutional rules have other effects on the political system and economic outcomes than the ones predicted, and in turn, the characteristics of the political system shape economic policies in an unexpected manner. These intriguing findings provide multiple opportunities to expand the present study. A future more in depth analysis would also benefit from the expected increase in the availability of data for the countries in the region. While using multiple imputations in order to fill the empty spaces has provided some deeper insights into what might actually be happening in the area, the reliability of these procedures is sometimes contested, and the results would have been much more trustworthy if we would have actually had all the data that was now missing.

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By Iulia Cioroianu (1)

(1) Iulia Cioroianu graduated from the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest and holds a Master of Arts in Political Science with a Certificate in Political Economy from the Central European University.

(2) The Quality of Government Dataset (Teorell et al., 2007) compiles data on several institutional, political and economic variables, for all 192 the countries in the world. It includes a cross-sectional dataset for 2002 (or the closest year available) and a cross-sectional time-series dataset spanning the time period 19462008. A detailed description of the data can be found at: http://www.gog.pol.gu.se/.

(3) "Constitutional provisions" refer to electoral rules and the form of government, as in Persson and Tabellini (2003, 2006, 2007).
Table 1. Counted and expected values of electoral
systems distribution by democratic post and non-post-communist
countries

                                          Post-
                           Democratic   communist
                           countries    countries

Electoral   Majoritarian       35           1
SN,stem                      (29,6)       (6,4)

            Proportional       39          10
                             (40,3)       (8,7)

               Mixed           14           8
                              (88)        (3,9)

Table 2. Counted and expected values of political
regimes distribution by democratic post and
non-post-communist countries

                                                Post-
                                 Democratic   communist
                                 countries    countries

Parliamentarism   Presidential       26           1
                                  (22,31)       (4,8)

                     Semi-           15           9
                  presidential     (19,8)       (4,2)

                  Parliamentm        48           9
                                    (47)        (10)

Table 4 Expected relations

Constitutional provisions          Political system
                                   characteristics

Regime type      Parliamentary     Concentration of power--the
                 democracy         head of the executive has the
                                   support of the legislative

                 Presidentialism   Separation of power--
                                   increased accountability,
                                   checks and balances, more
                                   veto players

Electoral        Proportional      More frequent center-left
system           representation    governments

                                   Increased representation
                                   More fragmented party
                                   systems

                                   --larger incidence ofcoalition
                                   governments

                                   --more parties in the
                                   government coalition

                 Majority          Less parties

District         Big districts     Increased fragmentation
magnitude

                                   Stronger proportionality.
                                   various interests represented

Ballot           Closed lists      Reduced accountabiliy
structure
                 Preferential      Individual accountability
                 voting

Electoral        High              More fragmented party
threshold                          system

                                   --larger incidence of coalition
                                   governments

                                   --more parties in the
                                   government coalition

Legislative      Bicameralism      More checks and balances.
chambers                           more veto la yers

Degree of        Sub-national      Increased accountability
centralization   governments

Constitutional   Government spending
  provisions

Regime type      Higher government
                 spending broad
                 spending

                 Lower spending,
                 targeted spending

Electoral        More redistribution-
system           higher spending

                 More public goods.
                 broad spending

                 Higherspending

                 Less spending, more
                 targeted

District         Increased government
magnitude        spending

                 More broad spending

Ballot           More spending
structure
                 Targeted spending

Electoral        Higher spending
threshold

Legislative      Less spending
chambers

Degree of        Smaller government
centralization   More targeted spending

Table 5. Effects of constitutional rules on political
system variables. Regression results.

                         Index of           Legislative
                    disproportionality   fractionalization

                      OLS    Amelia        OLS    Amelia
                             /Zelig               /Zelig

Semi-                  --                           --
presidentia
lism

Presidenta             --                           --
lism

Mixed                 .015    .011         .167    .140
electoral            (.04)   (.42)        (.00)   (.01)
system

Majority/             .055    .01          .218    .142
plurality            (.05)   (.78)        (.00)   (.06)
electoral
system

(Log)Mean            -.009   -.009        -.002   -.001
district             (.00)   (.06)        (.87)   (.91)
magnitude

Electoral             .289    .009        -4.73    1.44
threshold            (.34)   (.98)        (.04)   (.45)

Closed lists           --                  .021    .004
                                          (.81)   (.94)

Bicamerali             --                           --
sm

Federalism             --                           --

Control variables

Ethno-                                    -.004    .01
linguistic                                (.27)   (.03)
fractionaliz
ation

Index of             -.013   -.007         .027    .03
democracy            (.00)   (.16)        (.04)   (.00)

                       Government         Government majority
                    fractionalization

                      OLS    Amelia         OLS    Amelia
                             /Zelig                /Zelig

Semi-                -.218   -.193         -.183   -.214
presidentia          (.00)   (.01)         (.00)   (.00)
lism

Presidenta           -.974   -.718          .383    .166
lism                 (.00)   (.00)         (.00)   (.25)

Mixed                 .615    .476         -.124    .015
electoral            (.00)   (.00)         (.04)   (.83)
system

Majority/             .588    .515         -.085    .088
plurality            (.00)   (.00)         (.21)   (.19)
electoral
system

(Log)Mean            -.043   -.014         -.011   -.005
district             (.04)   (.44)         (.38)   (.72)
magnitude

Electoral            11.23   -4.17         -1.49   -5.04
threshold            (.00)   (.02)         (.40)   (.00)

Closed lists          .247    .031          .097   -.057
                     (.03)   (.69)         (.16)   (.31)

Bicamerali           -.131    .052          .064    .077
sm                   (.23)   (.47)         (.22)   (.10)

Federalism            -.09    .447           --      --
                     (.56)   (.00)

Control variables

Ethno-               -.006    .060          .005   -.022
linguistic           (.31)   (.00)         (.11)   (.02)
fractionaliz
ation

Index of              .05     .059         -.050   -.032
democracy            (.00)   (.00)         (.00)   (.00)

                    Government
                    ideology

                     OLS    Amelia
                            /Zelig

Semi-               .601     .575
presidentia         (.00)   (.00)
lism

Presidenta          .365     .413
lism                (.40)   (.38)

Mixed               -.140   -.298
electoral           (.50)   (.28)
system

Majority/           -.470   -.492
plurality           (.04)   (.07)
electoral
system

(Log)Mean            --
district
magnitude

Electoral            --
threshold

Closed lists         --

Bicamerali
sm

Federalism           --

Control variables

Ethno-
linguistic
fractionaliz
ation

Index of            .056     .050
democracy           (.02)   (.30)

Table 6. Economic effects of constitutional rules.
Regression results.

                                            GOVSPEN
                                          Government
                                        expenditure as
                                        percent of GDP

                                     Classical   Amelia/
                                        OLS       Zelig

SEMIPRES                               -3.90      -5.42
Dummy semi-presidentialism             (.01)      (.01)

PRESID                                 16.48     -11.00
Dummy presidentialism                  (.00)      (.08)

MIXED                                 -11.15     -12.00
Dummy mixed electoral system           (.00)      (.05)

MAJORIT                                -3.77      -6.15
Dummy majority plurality electoral     (.18)      (.17)
system

LogMDM                                 1.11       1.23
Mean district magnitude                (.02)      (.00)

THRESH                                 109.1      42.16
Electoral threshold                    (.02)      (.56)

CLOSED                                -13.23      -4.07
Dummy closed lists                     (.00)      (.06)

BICAMER                                1.82       1.16
Dummy bicameralism                     (.31)      (.63)

FEDERAL                                .410       4.10
Dummy federalism                       (.91)      (.41)

Control variables

LogGDP                                 6.24       5.25
Log of per capita GDP                  (.00)      (.03)

DEM0CR                                 .800       -.128
Index of democracy                     (.06)      (.81)

                                             NARSPEN
                                     Transfers and subsidies

                                     Classical   Amelia/
                                        OLS       Zelig

SEMIPRES                              -6.020      -8.99
Dummy semi-presidentialism             (.00)      (.01)

PRESID                                 15.94      4.14
Dummy presidentialism                  (.00)     -(.68)

MIXED                                 -16.24      -6.29
Dummy mixed electoral system           (.00)      (.46)

MAJORIT                               -15.00      1.86
Dummy majority plurality electoral     (.00)      (.84)
system

LogMDM                                 .014       -.423
Mean district magnitude                (.73)      (.71)

THRESH                                 56.89      72.62
Electoral threshold                    (.12)      (.54)

CLOSED                                 -4.70      -1.11
Dummy closed lists                     (.01)      (.70)

BICAMER                                1.87       -1.93
Dummy bicameralism                     (.23)      (.58)

FEDERAL                                17.89      19.92
Dummy federalism                       (.00)     (0.11)

Control variables

LogGDP                                 -.130      .340
Log of per capita GDP                  (.92)      (.96)

DEM0CR                                 1.783      -1.82
Index of democracy                     (.00)      (.14)

Table 7 Economic effects of the political environment. Regression
results.

                                      GOVSPEN
                                Government expenditure as
                                percent of GDP

LEGFRAC                               .291    -4.68
Legislative fractionalization         (.91)   (.23)

GOVFRAC                               -8.57   -3.07
Government fractionalization          (.02)   (.24)

GOVMAJ                                5.57    6.97
Government majority                   (.02)   (.19)

IDEOGOV                               -.125   -.390
Government ideology                   (.80)   (.54)

CHECKS                                1.09    1.86
Number of veto players                (.02)   (.01)

Control variables

LogGDP                                -3.52   -5.19
Log of per capita GDP                 (.00)   (.00)

DEMOCR                                1.36    .633
Index of democracy                    (.00)   (.18)

                                NARSPEN
                                Transfers and subsidies

LEGFRAC                         -7.48   -9.55
Legislative fractionalization   (.00)   (.10)

GOVFRAC                         -1.14   -2.61
Government fractionalization    (.56)   0.59

GOVMAJ                          -1.93   11.77
Government majority             (.59)   (.04)

IDEOGOV                         -.913   -1.91
Government ideology             (.02)   (.06)

CHECKS                          .038    2.590
Number of veto players          (.37)   (.02)

Control variables

LogGDP                          -1.87   1.10
Log of per capita GDP           (.02)   (.82)

DEMOCR                          3.21    -.383
Index of democracy              (.00)   (.67)
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Article Details
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Author:Cioroianu, Iulia
Publication:Romanian Journal of Political Science
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Words:12210
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