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Popular Attitudes Towards Free Markets: The Soviet Union and the United States Compared


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  • Robert J. Shiller
  • Maxim Boycko
  • Vladimir Korobov


Random samples of the Moscow' and New York populations were compared in their attitudes towards free markets by administering identical telephone interviews in the two countries in May, 1990. Although the Soviet respondents were somewhat less likely to accept exchange of money as a solution to personal problems, and their attitudes towards business were less warm, we found that the Soviet and American respondents were basically similar in most dimensions. Soviets showed no difference from Americans on their feelings that price increases may be unfair. There appears to be little difference between the Soviets and Americans in their concern with income inequality, in their belief in the importance of providing material incentives for hard work, and in their understanding of the workings of markets.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3453.

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Date of creation: Sep 1990
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Publication status: published as The American Economic Review, Vol. 81, No. 3, pp. 385-400, (June 1991).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3453

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