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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Grigoriadis, Theocharis, 2013. "A political theory of Russian orthodoxy: Evidence from public goods experiments," Discussion Papers 2013/14, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201314
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. 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.
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    7. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • P32 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Collectives; Communes; Agricultural Institutions
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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