June 2009

IZA DP No. 4224: Transition Fatigue? Cross-Country Evidence from Micro Data

substantially revised version published as 'Did Support for Economic and Political Reforms Increase During the Post-Communist Transition, and If So, Why?' in: The Economics of Transition, 2013, 21 (2), 193-240.

The transition process has had different distributional impacts across different interest groups and countries. These have led to differences in the support for transition. In this paper, we study support attitudes for both the economic and political transition using data from the New Barometer Surveys for 14 transition economies from 1991 to 2004. We document that the overall support is low and heterogeneous across countries and individuals. Support attitudes are lower among the old, less skilled, unemployed, poor, and those living in the CIS countries. There seems to be an increasing trend in the support for the economic transition in most countries. Our findings are robust to changes in the definition and measurement of the dependent variable. 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 individual preferences for secure jobs, the role of state and trust in politicians as well as better institutions, in particular, the quality of governance, seem to contribute mostly to explaining the lower levels of the support in the CIS countries.