Russian Attitudes Towards Markets and Democracy

This interesting research by Maxim Boycko and nobel prize laureate Bob Shiller comes with great timing to inform the debate about supposed differences in values between East and West. Here’s the paper’s abstract with the most interesting conclusion in emphasis:

We repeat a survey we did in the waning days of the Soviet Union (Shiller, Boycko and Korobov, AER 1991) comparing attitudes towards free markets between Moscow and New York. Additional survey questions, from Gibson Duch and Tedin (J. Politics 1992) are added to compare attitudes towards democracy. Two comparisons are made: between countries, and through time, to explore the existence of international differences in allegiance to democratic free-market institutions, and the stability of
these differences. While we find some differences in attitudes towards markets across countries and through time, we do not find most of the differences large or significant. Our evidence does not support a common view that the Russian personality is fundamentally illiberal or non-democratic.

Another interesting research question would be whether these result survive in a survey of citizens in rural areas from which illiberals like Trump or Putin usually receive the greatest support.

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