RESEARCH

This paper provides an empirical analysis of possible manipulations of seized drug amounts by police, based on a unique dataset that contains full information on drug crimes in Russia reported during 2013-2014. First, using a bunching estimator, I document a significant excess mass of heroin cases above the punishment threshold. The mass is six times greater than the average number of cases in a counterfactual scenario without manipulation. Next, combining the bunching estimator with an event study framework, I investigate the incentives for police officers to manipulate and find evidence consistent with the motivation arising from the officers’ performance evaluation system. Furthermore, I determine that police officers are more likely to manipulate the drug amounts seized from repeat offenders. The overall effect of manipulation on the sentence length of drug users is an additional year of incarceration, which is a 67% increase on the average sentence length without manipulation.

The Best Paper Award, The Young Economists’ Meeting in Brno, 2019

vbvb

We use the large-scale SHARE survey data to answer the question of how employment instability in Central and Eastern Europe arising from the transition to a market economy affects contemporary life satisfaction, perceived control over life and political attitudes. We base our identification strategy on the unexpected job loss due to the closure of an establishment. The preliminary results suggest a significant heterogeneity of the effect of experiencing unemployment during the transition period on attitudes across countries, which could be driven by the difference in impacts on income and health.

cvbvb

  • For God, Tsar and Fatherland? The Political Influence of Church: The Case of Russia

In many countries, religion still plays a significant role in political and social spheres, despite an official separation of church and state. At the same time, there is a substantial variation in mechanisms behind this influence, which heavily depend on a particular cultural and institutional context, and which are still poorly understood. In this study, I explore the question by analyzing the impact of the expanding Orthodox Church network in Russia (measured by the regional density of orthodox organizations) on individual political attitudes and electoral preferences. I exploit the natural historical experiment and construct the instrument from novel data on the number of monasteries and the number of monks in Russian regions before the Revolution. The preliminary results suggest that there is a statistically significant effect from the scale: the higher density of orthodox religious organizations in Russian regions is associated with the higher individual approval rating of the president. The potential mechanisms behind this effect could be both of religious and secular nature. First of all, the wider Church network could increase the number of «churched» believers, who come to the church because of their religious beliefs but also become exposed to the promotion of secular authority organized by the Church leadership in exchange for resources. In turn, more resources attracted by the wider Church network allow the spread of ideas transmitted by the secular authority and also appealing to the general public outside the church too.

Work in progress
  • The Influence of Church on Prosocial Behavior: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • The Effect of the Worldwide Expansion of Internet Access on Suicidal Behavior