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Working paper

Religion and Preferences for Government Intervention in Russia

Кутянов В. А.
In this paper we present evidence for the influence of religion on demand for the government intervention in Russia. We use a 2011 representative survey of Russian regions which includes about 33,200 respondents. We show that declared religiosity is positively related to the fact that respondent will not choose the “Western way” of economic development. Additionally, active participation in the life of the religious community is negatively connected to support the of redundant product safety audits. We validate our findings by using the density of different religious denominations in Russian regions in 1897 as an instrument. Overall, our results confirm that in Russia, declared religiosity affects political preferences. Moreover, the religious community acts as a club good, where adherence to attitudes and rituals leads to a substitution of government intervention