Did Yeltsin buy elections? The Russian political business cycle, 1993-1999

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This article seeks to determine whether a political business cycle existed during Yeltsin's tenure in the Second Russian Republic. While Yeltsin certainly had the power and desire to increase his electoral chances, the lack of state resources and doubts about their appeal to voters presents an inconclusive picture concerning the existence of a political business cycle during this period. Statistical analysis, however, demonstrates that the level of real wage arrears decreased during electoral periods. Other measures, such as federal budget spending or the average monthly pension, only show weak indications of electoral period manipulation Finnaly, the usefulness of buying votes in the Russian case, however, is questioned, considering Yeltsin's failures in various Duma elections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-76
Number of pages14
JournalCommunist and Post-Communist Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Economic policy
  • Elections
  • Political-business cycle
  • Russia
  • Voting behavior
  • Yeltsin


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