Russia's 1999–2000 election cycle and the politics-banking interface

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Nimeke: Russia's 1999–2000 election cycle and the politics-banking interface
ISBN: 978-952-323-196-2
Tekijä: Schoors, Koen ; Weill, Laurent
Julkaisija: Bank of Finland
Osasto / Yksikkö: Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT)
Sarjan nimi: BOFIT Discussion Papers
ISSN: 1456-5889
Sarjan vuosi: 2017
Sarjan numero: 17/2017
Julkaisuvuosi: 2017
Ilmestymispäivämäärä: 1.11.2017
Sivut: 38
Asiasanat (yso): vaalit; politiikka; yritykset; luotot; luotonanto; pankit
Hakusanat: Bofit-kokoelma; Venäjä; pankkitoiminta
JEL: G21; P34
Muut hakusanat: bank; credit policy; politics; Russia
Tiivistelmä: We investigate whether lending by the dominant Russian state bank, Sberbank, contributed to Vla-dimir Putin’s ascent to power during the presidential elections of March 2000. Our hypothesis is that Sberbank corporate loans could have been used as incentives for managers at private firms to mobilize employees to vote for the incumbent regime. In line with our proposed voter mobilization mechanism, we find that the regional growth of Sberbank corporate loans in the months before the presidential election is related to the regional increase in votes for Putin and to the regional increase in voter turnout between the Duma election of December 1999 and the presidential election of March 2000. The effect of Sberbank firm lending on Putin votes was most pronounced in regions where the governor was affiliated with the regime and in regions with extensive private employ-ment. The effect was less apparent in regions with many single-company towns, where voter intim-idation is sufficient to get the required result. Additional robustness checks and placebo regressions confirm the main findings. Our results support the view that additional Sberbank corporate loans granted prior to the March 2000 presidential election facilitated Putin’s early electoral success.


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