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Research linking credible commitments to the rule of law in terms of property rights and contract enforcement is a hallmark of recent efforts to explain economic growth and development. However, many postcommunist states have had difficulty making such commitments and spurring growth. Many argue political polarization prevents states from reforming laws and protecting property rights in some countries whereas single-party governance renders state promises incredible in others. I analyze pooled cross-sectional time-series data for twenty-four postcommunist countries and provide evidence effective constraints among elected officials act as democratic commitment mechanisms rendering government policies credible.

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Routledge an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group in East European Politics on 2015, available online at doi: 10.1080/21599165.2015.1088435