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Popular Attitudes Toward Free Markets in Iran, the Former Soviet Union and the United States

  • Nader Habibi


    (Brandeis University)

A survey of attitudes towards markets which was originally conducted in the U.S and the U.S.S.R. in 1991 was repeated on a random sample of residents of Tehran in 1994. The survey results for the three countries have been compared. The results show that the attitudes of Iranians (residents of Tehran) on some aspects of market institutions are similar to Americans and Russians. Similarity of attitudes was observed on the fairness of profiteering, importance of incentives, appropriateness of exchange of money in dealings with friends and relatives, and comprehension of compensated price changes. On the other hand, significant differences were found on the following issues: Iranians are most supportive of price controls and commodity rationing in cases of shortages; Iranians are more pessimistic about social acceptability of businessmen; a larger portion of Iranians think that demand-pushed price increases are unfair. These anti-market attitudes might be a major reason for the recent resistance to market-oriented reforms in Iran.

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Paper provided by Economic Research Forum in its series Working Papers with number 9515.

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Date of creation: Jul 1995
Date of revision: Jul 1995
Publication status: Published by The Economic Research Forum (ERF)
Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:9515
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