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Patronage and Election Fraud: Insights from Russia’s Governors 2000–2012

Christoph Koenig

CAGE Online Working Paper Series from Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE)

Abstract: Theory and empirics suggest that patronage fosters election fraud. But why does fraud vary within autocracies where patronage’s incentives to manipulate should be uniformly high? In this paper, I explore whether information asymmetries can explain this phenomenon. I study the introduction of a patronage system which allowed Russia’s president to discretionarily appoint all 89 regional governors. After December 2004, all national elections were organized by governors facing removal but, crucially, only some were actually patronage-appointed with lower need to signal their qualities. I estimate the effect of the reform’s introduction and its staggered implementation on a new and verified regional fraud indicator for 7 national elections.

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Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cis
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