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Working paper

Who to Help? Trust and Preferences over Redistribution in Russia.

Who will you help if you have a higher level of interpersonal trust? In a set of surveys of about 34,000 individuals done in 2007-2011 in Russia we show that higher levels of trust in a region are connected with more support for government redistribution in favour of those who performed services for their homeland (war veterans, distinguished teachers, doctors). Less demand for government support is found for the poor, the homeless, those having many children and others in difficult life situations as people expect help from others, i.e. that social capital substitute for the government. Overall higher trust could have outcomes that could not be interpreted as good for everybody. Promoting growth policies should account for it otherwise they could be counterproductive.