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Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, "Inter-Party Mobility among Parliamentary Candidates in Post-Communist East Central Europe," Party Politics, 10 (March 2004), 151-176.

First Paragraph:
The continual formations of entirely new parties, some of which acquire 'overnight' success, and the ongoing disappearance, schisms and mergers of established parties, together with high rates of electoral volatility, attest to the under-institutionalization of the party systems of new democracies in East Central Europe. Such party-system fluidity reflects a still 'open' and uncertain political market in which the partisan commitments of politicians and voters alike are not yet stable and the costs of shifting allegiances are relatively low (Bielasiak, 1997; Lewis, 2000; Mair, 1996). Yet, it would be inaccurate to characterize the party systems of East Central Europe as being in a perpetual state of disarray. On the contrary, there is a growing body ofresearch demonstrating that party-system institutionalization is taking place, albeit more so in some countries than in others (Baylis, 1998; Bielasiak, 1999; Ilonszki, 2000; Kitschelt et al., 1999; Lewis, 2000; Miller and White, 1998; Shabad and Slomczynski, 1999, 2002; Slomczynski and Shabad, 2002; Toka, 1997; Tworzecki, 1996).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Types of candidates in elections to parliament in Poland (1993 and 1997) and the Czech Republic (1992, 1996 and 1998)
Table 2. Types of inter-party mobility among candidates in parliamentary elections in Poland (1993 and 1997) and the Czech Republic (1992, 1996 and 1998)
Table 3. Types of candidates in elections to parliament in Poland (1993 and 1997) and the Czech Republic (1992, 1996 and 1998)
Table 4. Mobility within and between political families for parliamentary elections in Poland, 1991-3 and 1993-7
Table 5. Mobility within and between political families for parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic, 1990-2, 1992-6 and 1996-8
Table 6. Mobility to winning and losing parties in Poland, 1993 and 1997
Table 7. Mobility to winning and losing parties in the Czech Republic, 1992, 1996 and 1998
Table 8. Logistic regression of electoral success on type of inter-party mobility in Poland (1993 and 1997) and the Czech Republic (1992, 1996 and 1998)

Last Paragraph:
Finally, we approached inter-party mobility from the perspective of the relative electoral payoffs to the individual candidate. Scholars have argued that party-switching is likely to be widespread when institutions and other aspects of the electoral environment provide low transaction costs to politicians' pursuit of electoral success and the achievement of other goals (Desposato, 2002; Kreuzer and Pettai, 2002). However, our findings showed that in both the Czech Republic and Poland (despite the lower transaction costs exacted by institutional rules in these countries), partisan loyalty was more often than not the best route to parliament. Only shifting allegiances due to party mergers (in the case of Poland in 1997) or party splits (in the case of the Czech Republic in 1998) turned out to be even more beneficial. Although voluntary movers stood a better chance of winning relative to that of novice candidates, their prospects would have been even greater had they remained stable in their partisan attachments. And some types of partyswitching proved to be very costly to the candidate. Thus, it is not the case that party-switching was in all instances cost free. If a learning process is taking place among politicians, as our various findings about patterns of inter-party mobility indicate, then the knowledge that party loyalty tends to reap the greatest reward should be a strong incentive for politicians to behave in self-interested ways that also help to promote the institutionalization of their party systems.