Election-time economic policy and current-account developments in Central-East Europe
Governments of democratic countries are generally inclined to prepare for elections by distributing benefits, and the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe seem to be no exception in this respect. The article examines the specific regional characteristics of electoral economic policy. Here too, such distributive behaviour is mainly fiscal in character, yet budgetary signs of it are not always found easily, on the one hand because of problematic accounting practices (especially in the first half of the 1990s), and on the other because the state in the early years of economic transition could easily distribute material concessions out of state or even private corporate capital. On the other hand, the small size of the countries examined - a good deal smaller than the lesser EU member-states used as a comparison - makes it easier to observe the effect of election-time distribution on deterioration in the current account, although what benefits the analysing economist observing them does serious damage to the countries concerned.
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