Communism as the Unhappy Coming

50 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2018

See all articles by Simeon Djankov

Simeon Djankov

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

Elena Nikolova

University College London

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 3, 2018

Abstract

This paper shows that Eastern Orthodox believers are less happy compared with Catholics and Protestants using data covering more than 100 countries around the world. Consistent with the happiness results, the paper also finds 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 with 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 hypothesis that communism is a successor of Orthodoxy.

Keywords: Educational Sciences, Armed Conflict, Health Care Services Industry, Food Security, Public Sector Administrative and Civil Service Reform, Economics and Finance of Public Institution Development, Public Sector Administrative & Civil Service Reform, Democratic Government, State Owned Enterprise Reform, De Facto Governments

Suggested Citation

Djankov, Simeon and Nikolova, Elena, Communism as the Unhappy Coming (April 3, 2018). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8399, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3155972

Simeon Djankov (Contact Author)

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

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
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Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Elena Nikolova

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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