Poverty explanations, causes of poverty, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus, Balkans


We examine support for the structural attribution of poverty in 24 post-communist countries (N = 37,307) for the period from 2006 to 2010 by considering: (1) individual-level characteristics, (2) country- level characteristics, and (3) interactions between individual- and country-level characteristics. At the individual-level, adherence to the norms of equity, the market economy, and work ethics all significantly weaken structural attribution of poverty. In contrast, support for the norms of equality, and personal experience with poverty significantly strengthen structural attribution of poverty. At the country-level, GDP growth significantly reduces structural attribution of poverty, while the GDP per capita and poverty rates do not have a significant influence. Interestingly, the overall contributions of all individual-level characteristics taken together appear to be stronger than those at the country level. Finally, interactions between individual- and country- level characteristics suggest that the effects of support for equity and equality norms, the market economy, work ethics values, and experience with poverty become less relevant for structural attribution of poverty when a country experiences higher economic growth. Consequently, in the public’s eye, individual-level and country-level characteristics are intertwined and interdependent.

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