Individual Support for Economic and Political Changes: Evidence from Transition Countries, 1991-2004

Riccardo Rovelli, Anzelika Zaiceva
2011 Social Science Research Network  
Using a unique dataset, we propose a new measure of public evaluation of transitional reforms and study, for the first time, the evolution of support for economic and political reforms in 14 transition economies over 1991-2004. We show that support for economic changes has been increasing over time after an initial dip, while support for political reforms has generally been higher. Support attitudes are lower among the old, less skilled, unemployed, poor, and those living in the CIS countries,
more » ... specially during the 1990s. We also find evidence that transition-related hardship, opinions on the speed of reforms, political preferences and preferences towards redistribution, ideology and social capital matter. Finally, we show that preferences for state ownership and the quality of political institutions contribute mostly to explaining the lower levels of support in the CIS countries. See Rovelli and Zaiceva (2008) for a comprehensive review of related literature. 2 Easterlin (2009) and Guriev and Zhuravskaya (2009) constitute an exception, but they analyze a different question. 3 values, social capital or ideology, as well as individual experiences with transition, perceptions of corruption and opinions on the speed of reforms. We also attempt to provide potential explanations for the lower support towards the reforms process in several countries. Finally, we seek to reduce the potential biases by constructing our dependent variable as a difference across evaluations for the same individual, thus differencing away individual and evaluation-specific factors, such as pessimism. To the best of our knowledge, our paper is the first one that analyses these questions using individual level data in a cross-country framework for this time span. 3
doi:10.2139/ssrn.1781024 fatcat:ye3ho6iqmvdmla34l2yzwjsu4m