Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Good bye Lenin (or not?): The effect of Communism on people's preferences

Contents:

Author Info

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Nicola Fuchs-Schundeln

Abstract

Preferences for redistribution, as well as the generosities of welfare states, differ significantly across countries. In this paper, we test whether there exists a feedback process of the economic regime on individual preferences. We exploit the experiment of German separation and reunification to establish exogeneity of the economic system. From 1945 to 1990, East Germans lived under a Communist regime with heavy state intervention and extensive redistribution. We find that, after German reunification, East Germans are more in favor of redistribution and state intervention than West Germans, even after controlling for economic incentives. This effect is especially strong for older cohorts, who lived under Communism for a longer time period. We find that East Germans’ preferences converge towards those of West Germans, and we calculate that it will take one to two generations for preferences to converge completely.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/pub/hier/2005/HIER2076.pdf
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found (http://www.economics.harvard.edu/pub/hier/2005/HIER2076.pdf [301 Moved Permanently]--> http://economics.harvard.edu/pub/hier/2005/HIER2076.pdf). If this is indeed the case, please notify (Thomas Krichel)
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 2076.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:2076

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 200 Littauer Center, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-495-2144
Fax: 617-495-7730
Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/journals/hier
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Giacomo CORNEO, 2001. "Inequality and the State: Comparing US and German Preferences," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 63-64, pages 283-296.
  2. Robert J. Shiller & Maxim Boycko & Vladimir Korobov, 1990. "Popular Attitudes Towards Free Markets: The Soviet Union and the United States Compared," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 952, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Working Papers 178, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  4. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
  5. Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," Papers 08-15-2005a, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
  6. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," Scholarly Articles 3221170, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 960-980, September.
  8. Robert J. Shiller & Maxim Boycko & Vladimir Korobov, 1992. "Hunting for Homo Sovieticus: Situational versus Attitudinal Factors in Economic Behavior," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 127-194.
  9. Roland Bénabou & Efe A. Ok, 2001. "Social Mobility And The Demand For Redistribution: The Poum Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 447-487, May.
  10. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Thomas Piketty, 1994. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," Working papers 94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 1999. "Types and patterns: an experimental East-West-German comparison of cooperation and solidarity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 275-287, February.
  13. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  14. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2004. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," NBER Working Papers 10438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. David G. Blanchflower & Richard Freeman, 1997. "The attitudinal legacy of Communist labor relations," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(3), pages 438-459, April.
  16. Corneo, Giacomo & Gruner, Hans Peter, 2002. "Individual preferences for political redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 83-107, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Generational determinism
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2010-03-29 17:07:37
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fth:harver:2076. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.