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Disbelief in the future and negative investment in health capital in Russia in the mid-2010s: Survey research

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 11-04-2019
TERRA ECONOMICUS. 2019.  Т. 17. № 1. С. 41-63. 
Тематический раздел:
The key idea of this paper stems from the aspiration to explain the low life expectancy in Russia, especially among men. The authors suppose that negative investment in health capital, in particular, smoking, alcohol consumption and lack of physical exercise, are the root causes of this phenomenon. The article tests the hypothesis that the most important reason for negative investments in health capital is the mass unwillingness of people to calculate the long-term consequences of their decisions. This reluctance can be described by the concept of investor myopia. This term means exclusion from consideration of future results, starting from a certain threshold point in time. Investor myopia can be considered as the most important consequence of disbelief in the future, which, in turn, can be generated by pessimism, lack of confidence, or ingrained psychology of the “provisional ruler”. Thus, people who do not believe in the future are more prone to negative investments in health capital. Econometric analysis is based on the authors’ own data obtained from surveys in 2016 and 2017. The paper uses various proxies to measure disbelief in the future and applies probit and ordered probit models to confirm the hypothesis by empirical evidence. The authors conclude that the proposed hypothesis cannot be rejected.
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