¹ 2, 2019
Over the last fifteen years municipalities in Russia have lost a significant part of their financial autonomy: the average share of transfers from regional budgets to municipal budgets has doubled. Simultaneously, municipalities have lost their political autonomy from the regional authorities. The article is dedicated to finding answers to such questions as whether the growth of the financial and political dependence of municipalities went hand in hand with the politicization of regional intergovernmental transfers and whether election results affect the amount of funds received by municipalities from regional budgets. The authors used an original dataset on two types of intergovernmental transfers, the distribution of which depends on regional authorities, for 70 municipalities of the Perm Krai and the Novgorod Oblast, 2013—2017.
The regression analysis conducted by the authors confirmed the hypothesis that redistribution of budgetary funds between municipalities is decided on political grounds, but this holds true only at the beginning of the electoral cycle, which is consistent with the model of rewarding a loyal electorate. As is the case at the federal level, this is about rewarding those who produce “good” electoral results and punishing those who produce “bad” electoral results rather than courting swing voters or buying off most problematic territories. The fact that the municipality has its own parliamentarian in the regional legislature can also contribute to obtaining more transfers. Municipal needs for infrastructure have no impact on the size of transfers.
¹ 3, 2017
A.Gilev, A.Semenov and I.Shevtsova analyze correlation between professional career of local authorities and electoral results of the “party of power”, appealing to the explanatory power of a “political machine” concept and relying on the database that includes biographies of municipal heads in three Russian regions. The study shows that heads of local governments, who previously held positions of a deputy mayor, heads of departments or other high posts in local administration, secure better electoral results for the “party of power’ than those with business or legislative backgrounds. Skills of managing local “political machines” are formed within the executive branch, and the “machines” themselves are quite stable. Thus, mobilization of such “machines” does not require either long training or extraordinary abilities from new leaders.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ Shevtsova Irina