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THE ETHNIC REGIONS AND ELECTORAL SUPPORT FOR THE INCUMBENT: The Politics of Federal Transfers in Russia from 2000 to 2012

How do incumbents in electoral authoritarian regimes manage to secure extraordinarily high levels of their electoral support? This study examines the determinants of the allocation of federal transfers to regional budgets in Russia to test whether the interbudgetary payments are used as a politically neutral tool with welfare equalizing goals or pursue various political aims of self-interested actors.