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Comrades in the family? Soviet communism and demand for family insurance

Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919 and Nicińska, Anna (2023) Comrades in the family? Soviet communism and demand for family insurance. Kyklos. ISSN 0023-5962 (In Press)

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We study how exposure to Soviet communism (EC), a political-economic regime based on collectivist state planning, affects preferences for family support which we refer to as informal insurance. Against the backdrop that 'communism gave rise to the abolition of the family', we document that it strengthens the preference or the demand for informal family insurance without depressing individuals' preferences for social insurance. We exploit cross-country and cohort variation in EC using data collected between 1990 and 2017 on more than 314 thousand individuals living in 33 Central and Eastern European countries, among which 14 had been communist. We document that EC gave rise to an average 9.6% increase in the preference for family care for older parents and 4.3% increase in the preference for (both financial and non-financial) support for children. These effects suggest that EC increased the demand for informal family insurance, which can be explained by social network effects and the erosion of generalized and institutional trust.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author.
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences
J Political Science
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2023 10:09
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 08:36

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