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Communism as the Unhappy Coming

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  • Djankov, Simeon
  • Nikolova, Elena

Abstract

We show that Eastern Orthodox believers are less happy compared to those of Catholic and Protestant faith using data covering more than 100 countries around the world. Consistent with the happiness results, we also find that relative to Catholics, Protestants and non-believers, those of Eastern Orthodox religion have less social capital and prefer old ideas and safe jobs. In addition, Orthodoxy is associated with left-leaning political preferences and stronger support for government involvement in the economy. Compared to non-believers and Orthodox adherents, Catholics and Protestants are less likely to agree that government ownership is a good thing, and Protestants are less likely to agree that getting rich can only happen at the expense of others. These differences in life satisfaction and other attitudes and values persisted despite the fact that communist elites sought to eradicate church-going in Eastern Europe, since communists maintained many aspects of Orthodox theology which were useful for the advancement of the communist doctrine. The findings are consistent with Berdyaev's (1933, 1937) hypothesis of communism as a successor of Orthodoxy.

Suggested Citation

  • Djankov, Simeon & Nikolova, Elena, 2018. "Communism as the Unhappy Coming," GLO Discussion Paper Series 192, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:192
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Guriev, Sergei & Melnikov, Nikita, 2018. "Happiness convergence in transition countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 683-707.
    2. Gaganis, Chrysovalantis & Hasan, Iftekhar & Pasiouras, Fotios, 2020. "National culture and housing credit," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 19-41.
    3. Adserà, Alicia & Dalla Pozza, Francesca & Guriev, Sergei & Kleine-Rueschkamp, Lukas & Nikolova, Elena, 2019. "Transition, height and well-being," GLO Discussion Paper Series 404, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Adsera, Alicia & Dalla Pozza, Francesca & Guriev, Sergei & Kleine-Rueschkamp, Lukas & Nikolova, Elena, 2019. "Transition from Plan to Market, Height and Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 12658, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Nikolova, Elena & Polansky, Jakub, 2020. "Conversionary Protestants do not cause democracy," GLO Discussion Paper Series 480, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    attitudes; communism; Eastern Orthodoxy; religion;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • P35 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Public Finance
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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