Historical family structure as a predictor of liberal voting: Evidence from a century of Russian history

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Maria Kravtsova
  • Alexander Libman
Family structure is considered a particularly important predictor of social and political development; historical differences in family size and other family characteristics cast a long shadow over societal development. This paper explores the effect of differences in historical family size on political behavior based on within-country variations in this characteristic in Russia. Unlike most papers on historical legacies, we trace the effect of family size over a century of Russian history with a focus on the first competitive and free elections in Russia—to the Constituent Assembly—held in 1917 and on the presidential elections in post-Soviet Russia in 1996 and 2000. Mean family size is measured based on the census data for 1897. We find a robust and significant association between smaller family size and a voting preference for parties that are economically liberal, which holds despite differences in the political, economic, and social environment between the 1910s and 1990s
ZeitschriftEconomic Systems
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.06.2023

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
We appreciate helpful comments by Vladimir Kozlov. We are also grateful for excellent research assistance by Guram Kvaratskhelia, Evgenia Mitrochina, Elena Alechina, Aleksandra Antina, and Alfia Lyapina. The article was prepared under the framework of the HSE University Basic Research Program. Any mistakes remain those of the authors.

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© 2023 Elsevier B.V.