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Believe but Verify? Russian Views and the Market

  • Andrew Austin
  • Tatyana Kosyaeva
  • Nathaniel Wilcox

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.

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Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp278.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp278
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521805254 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. 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.
  6. Andrew Austin & Nathaniel T. Wilcox, 2004. "Believing in Economic Theory: Sex, Lies, Evidence, Trust and Ideology," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp238, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
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