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Working paper

Who Seeks State Support In The New Russia And Why?

This paper investigates the underlying nature of the demand for state support in Russia in the labor market and employment, social investments, and material support. Based on recent findings from social policy studies, the authors tested four different mechanisms: (a) the demographic features of the population, (b) household incomes and disposable assets including human and social capital, (c) interests, and (d) locus of control and cultural attitudes. Drawing on an all-Russian representative monitoring survey conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2018, the authors argue that the popula- tion’s demand for state support has a very complex nature. The relative effect of income has a para- doxical nature. On the one hand, the Russian data confirm the hypothesis of ‘the altruistic rich’, de- veloped in recent studies, which predicts that, in societies with high inequalities, higher incomes boost the likelihood of demand for redistributive policies. On the other hand, higher incomes foster state escapism among those Russians who do not consider the state as a reliable agent capable of solving their problems.