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Explores the political origins of secure property rights for Russian businesses, based on survey evidence collected in 2004. Firms in regions with greater electoral competition are (1) better protected from government corruption, (2) more influential in shaping new rules and regulations at the regional level, and (3) more apt to have expanded or renovated their capital stock. Those that are members of business associations are also characterized by stronger property rights, though the impact of this organization within the business community holds more strongly in regions with less electoral competition. Business community organization, in other words, substitutes for electoral competition in restraining the "grabbing hand" of state officials.

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Pyle, William

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