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A political theory of Russian orthodoxy: Evidence from public goods experiments

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  • Grigoriadis, Theocharis

Abstract

In this paper, I test the effects of religious norms on the provision of public goods. My evidence is drawn from public goods experiments that I ran with regional bureaucrats in Tomsk and Novosibirsk, Russia. I introduce three treatments, which I define as degrees of Eastern Orthodox collectivist enforcement: 1. Solidarity, 2. Obedience, and 3. Universal discipline. I argue for the existence of an Eastern Orthodox hierarchy in the Russian bureaucracy that facilitates the delivery of public goods under conditions of universal discipline and the principal´s overfulfillment. Eastern Orthodox hierarchy is enforced through universal disciplinary monitoring, which induces collective punishment when the public good is not delivered. Contrary to conventional wisdom about freeriding in administrative institutions, higher ranks in Russian bureaucracies are associated with less freeriding. --

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Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2013/14.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201314

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Keywords: public goods experiments; bureaucracy; enforcement; Russia; religion; incomplete information; hierarchy;

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  1. Roberto Burlando & Francesco Guala, 2005. "Heterogeneous Agents in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 35-54, April.
  2. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, 06.
  3. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  4. Palfrey, Thomas R & Prisbrey, Jeffrey E, 1997. "Anomalous Behavior in Public Goods Experiments: How Much and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 829-46, December.
  5. Benno Torgler, 2003. "The Importance of Faith: Tax Morale and Religiosity," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  6. Sergei Guriev & Andrei Rachinsky, 2005. "The Role of Oligarchs in Russian Capitalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 131-150, Winter.
  7. Scheve, Kenneth & Stasavage, David, 2006. "Religion and Preferences for Social Insurance," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(3), pages 255-286, July.
  8. Acemoglu, Daron & Jensen, Martin Kaae, 2013. "Aggregate comparative statics," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 27-49.
  9. Gérard Roland, 2000. "Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182033, December.
  10. Huber, John D. & Stanig, Piero, 2011. "Church-state separation and redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 828-836, August.
  11. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
  12. Cadsby, Charles Bram & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1999. "Voluntary provision of threshold public goods with continuous contributions: experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 53-73, January.
  13. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 1997. "Classroom Games: Voluntary Provision of a Public Good," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 209-215, Fall.
  14. Huber, John D. & Stanig, Piero, 2011. "Church-state separation and redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 828-836.
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