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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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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/176684/1/GLO-DP-0192.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shinichi Nakagawa, 2004. "A farewell to Bonferroni: the problems of low statistical power and publication bias," Behavioral Ecology, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, vol. 15(6), pages 1044-1045, November.
    2. Maja Adena & Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Veronica Santarosa & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2015. "Radio and the Rise of The Nazis in Prewar Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1885-1939.
    3. Djankov, Simeon & Nikolova, Elena & Zilinsky, Jan, 2016. "The happiness gap in Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 108-124.
    4. Coupe, Tom & Obrizan, Maksym, 2016. "The impact of war on happiness: The case of Ukraine," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 228-242.
    5. Nikolova, Milena, 2016. "Minding the happiness gap: Political institutions and perceived quality of life in transition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 129-148.
    6. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Roland, GĂ©rard, 2015. "Culture, Institutions and Democratization," CEPR Discussion Papers 10563, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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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