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The CPSU Legacy and the Economic and Political Institutions in Russian Regions

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The CPSU Legacy and the Economic and Political Institutions in Russian Regions Alexander Libman Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and Russian Academy of Sciences (based on joint wor k with Anastassia Obydenkova , UPF). Motivation.

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The CPSU Legacy andtheEconomicand Political Institutions in RussianRegions
  • Alexander Libman
  • Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and Russian Academy of Sciences
  • (based on joint work with AnastassiaObydenkova, UPF)
  • Legacies of the Socialist past in post-Socialist countries
    • An arguably important factor in the development of CEE and CIS countries
    • But where do these legacies come from? (LaPorte and Lusser 2011)
      • Institutional: survival of Socialist institutional structures (bureaucracies, parties etc.)
      • Behavioral: people still use practices inherited from the Socialist past
      • Attitudinal: attitudes of the public and of various social groups are influenced by myths and reality of the Socialist past
    • And are all post-Socialist countries (and their regions) exposed to the same legacies to the same extent?
      • Differences in the models of Socialism in CEE countries and the USSR
      • Different level of control and propaganda in various parts of the same country?
      • Differences in the mode of governance in the same country (“southern” republics of the USSR or agricultural/industrial regions)
    • This paper: a particular factor associated with survival of legacies
      • The “penetration” of the CPSU membership in different regions of the Russian Federation
russian regions and cpsu legacies
Russianregionsand CPSU legacies
  • Heterogeneity of Russian regions
    • 1990s: proliferation of heterogeneous sub-national regimes (“isles of democracy” and “isles of autocracy”)
    • 2000s: variations in the level of federal control and monitoring => variations in the bureaucratic practices
    • Furthermore, strong variations in paths of economic development
  • How could CPSU legacy matter?
    • (assuming there was a variation in the share of CPSU members in different regions)
    • CPSU membership
      • Indoctrination
      • Career concerns and opportunistic behavior
      • Rudimentary form of political participation (“party saturation” literature)
    • Effects of CPSU legacy
      • Public attitude => does it survive over time? does it spread?
      • Composition of political elites => resolution of uncertainty in the initial moment of transition and path-dependence
      • Elite networks (governments and business)
variations of cpsu membership
Variationsof CPSU membership
  • Problem
    • No data on the size of party organizations in regions available (maybe archival research)?
  • Solution
    • CPSU congress: each delegate from a certain number of CPSU members
    • E.g. XXV congress (1976): 1 delegate from 3,000 CPSU members
    • Count the size of regional delegations (published) and obtain the proxy for CPSU penetration
  • Evidence
    • Very strong variation across Russian regions
    • Relative persistence over time across regions (XXV congress vs. XIX conference)
russian regions and cpsu legacies1
Russianregionsand CPSU legacies
  • Proxies for institutions in Russian regions
    • Sub-national democracy:
      • Carnegie Center: 1991-2001
      • Carnegie Center: 2000-2004 = > e.g. excellent predictor for voting outcomes of 2011
      • Ten sub-indices (elections, press, balance of power within elites etc.) 2000-2004
    • Corruption:
      • Transparency International / INDEM 2002: real corruption
      • Transparency International / INDEM 2002: perceived corruption
      • FOM 2010: real corruption
      • FOM 2010: perceived corruption
      • FOM 2011: real corruption
      • Carnegie Center: 2000-2004
    • Approach
      • Regress democracy / corruption indicators on the share of CPSU members in 1976 in the regional population and a set of other controls typically used in the literature



alternative explanations
Alternative explanations
  • Aging population and persistence of legacies
    • Controlling for share of elderly population => results stay robust
  • Role of contemporary Communist party (CPRF)
    • Controlling for electoral support of CPRF at various elections => results stay robust
  • Industrial structure of the regions and late Soviet mode of governance
    • Controlling for industrial structure => results stay robust
  • Attention of the central government
    • Controlling for the number of presidential visits into the regions => results stay robust
  • Non-random distribution of CPSU members
    • Controlling for Soviet-period characteristics of regions (education, proxies of well-being etc.) => results stay robust
conclusion and outlook
  • Regions with strong CPSU penetration in the past
    • … are less democratic and more corrupt…
    • … even twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union
  • What else?
    • (work in progress)
    • … but these regions also have lower income inequality
  • Is Russia still a “post-Communist” country?