Communism as the Unhappy Coming

48 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2018

See all articles by Simeon Djankov

Simeon Djankov

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics

Elena Nikolova

Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI); University College London - School of Slavonic and East European Studies; IOS Regensburg

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Date Written: March 28, 2018

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.

Keywords: Attitudes, Communism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Religion

JEL Classification: D02, P35, Z12

Suggested Citation

Djankov, Simeon and Nikolova, Elena, Communism as the Unhappy Coming (March 28, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3151383 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3151383

Simeon Djankov

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Elena Nikolova (Contact Author)

Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI) ( email )

Zvolensk√° 29
Bratislava, 82109
Slovakia

University College London - School of Slavonic and East European Studies ( email )

Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

IOS Regensburg ( email )

Landshuter Str. 4
Regensburg, 93047
Germany

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