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Anti-Western conspiracy thinking and expectations of collusion: Evidence from Russia and China

Alexander Libman and Björn Vollan

No 14/2015, BOFIT Discussion Papers from Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition

Abstract: Anti-Western conspiracies are frequently used by Governments to strengthen their power. We investigate the impact of conspiracy thinking on expectations of collusion among individuals in Russia and China. For this purpose, we conduct a novel laboratory experiment to measure expectations of collusion and several survey items related to conspiracy thinking. Our survey results indicate that anti-Western conspiracy thinking is widespread in both countries and correlates with distrust. We find a significant effect of anti-Western conspiracy thinking in China: Anti-Western conspiracy thinking correlates with lower expectations of collusion. We explain this result by stronger ingroup feeling emanating from the anti-Western sentiment. Our paper provides a first step in analyzing the economic implications of conspiracy thinking for society.

JEL-codes: C91 D83 O17 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-04-29
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cis, nep-cna and nep-exp
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bof:bofitp:2015_014

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