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Believe but Verify? Russian Views and the Market

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  • Andrew Austin
  • Tatyana Kosyaeva
  • Nathaniel Wilcox

Abstract

Prominent analysts argue that the Russian reform process has gone badly because Russian attitudes towards the market mechanism fundamentally differ from those in the West. Others strenuously dispute this. We combine surveys and a double auction experiment to investigate Russian beliefs about how markets work. Beliefs about the likelihood that economic theory would predict outcomes were elicited before (‘ex ante’) and after (‘ex post’) the double auction. Women, graduates of general secondary schools, children of Orthodox parents and children of entrepreneurs are more skeptical ex ante. Having observed the trading results women, children of Orthodox parents and children of entrepreneurs become less skeptical. Graduates of general secondary schools remain relatively skeptical ex post. Measures of political orientation are weakly associated with beliefs, and sociodemographic characteristics, such as occupation, income and parents’ education, have no detectable effect on beliefs about the predictive value of economic theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Austin & Tatyana Kosyaeva & Nathaniel Wilcox, 2005. "Believe but Verify? Russian Views and the Market," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp278, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp278
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    File URL: http://www.cerge-ei.cz/pdf/wp/Wp278.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nathaniel Wilcox, 2004. "Believing in Economic Theory: Sex, Lies, Evidence, Trust and Ideology," Working Papers 2004-06 Classification-, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
    2. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:01:p:138-152_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Croson, Rachel T. A., 2000. "Thinking like a game theorist: factors affecting the frequency of equilibrium play," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 299-314, March.
    5. 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.
    6. repec:mes:challe:v:43:y:2000:i:3:p:28-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ortmann, Andreas & Tichy, Lisa K., 1999. "Gender differences in the laboratory: evidence from prisoner's dilemma games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 327-339, July.
    8. Evans, Geoffrey & Whitefield, Stephen, 1995. "The Politics and Economics of Democratic Commitment: Support for Democracy in Transition Societies," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(04), pages 485-514, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. D. Andrew Austin & Nathaniel T. Wilcox, 2007. "Believing In Economic Theories: Sex, Lies, Evidence, Trust, And Ideology," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 502-518, July.
    2. Olga Popova, 2010. "Corruption, Voting and Employment Status: Evidence from Russian Parliamentary Elections," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp428, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

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