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Regular version of the site

Natalia Firsova

Associate Researcher

Adress: room 17, 3, Kochnovskij proezd, Moscow
Phone: +74991521621
E-mail: nfirsova@hse.ru

CV Personal Page

Education and academic awards:

  • 2010-present- Graduate student (aspirant), Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

Academic interests: statistical modelling, cross-cultural communication.

Research projects: 

  • What Makes People Feel Free: Subjective Freedom in Comparative Perspective? (2011-2012)
  • Predictors of Innovative Consumption Practices: Internet Shopping Adoption in Russian Households (2012-2013)

"What Makes People Feel Free: Subjective Freedom in Comparative Perspective?"  (completed)

Brief review of the project

This project is dedicated to predictors of subjective freedom. First of all, the author illuminated theoretical background that lies behind her project. According to Simmel, the freedom can be explained by the emergence of money economy and, as a consequence, impersonality. Also, theoretical framework of the study was formed by human development theory by Inglehart and Welzel, psychological self-determination theory and others. The main theoretical and operationalizational puzzle was in definition of freedom. Therefore, Natalia used the equivalent for the term “freedom” – the concept of human agency. Human agency (or subjective freedom) is associated both with the characteristics of the individual and the society. Societal characteristics are related to both individual characteristics and subjective freedom.

The dependent variable of Natalia’s research was subjective freedom measured by the European Social Survey in 1999-2004. Materialist and post-materialist indices, indicators of political rights and civil liberties, freedom from government spending index built by Heritage foundation were taken as independent variables for the model. All the models were controlled by marital status, gender, age, household income and education.

Correlation between post-materialist priorities of population and subjective freedom, as moderated by the country well-being, has opposite direction and almost the same magnitude in less and more affluent countries. Country’s prosperity correlates positively with subjective freedom.

Concerning the main finding of the study, it was found out that in more affluent countries post-materialism is positively associated with their subjective sense of freedom. While in the group of less affluent countries, people with stronger post-materialistic priorities tend to feel less free, other things being equal. Also, institutionalized ethics of individual responsibility operationalized as freedom from government spending correlates with subjective freedom; and this correlation is positive. Besides this, country prosperity is positively associated with subjective freedom. Finally, the association between household income and subjective freedom is significant and positive both in countries with moderate and small GDP per capita, but stringer in less affluent countries. Natalia’s project is claimed to bring up an important theoretical contribution to the human empowerment model.

Research Progress:

"Social Determinants of Innovative ConsumptionPractices: Computer and Internet Utilization in Russian Households" (ongoing)

This project is aimed to answer the question why some people engage in innovative consumption practices earlier than others through analysis of Internet shopping predictors. Theories of practice offered the most suitable framework for this purpose, avoiding deficiencies of both economics and sociology consumption research. Hypotheses were tested on the data of the national representative household survey RLMS-HSE carried out in 2009 in Russia. Negative binomial regression modelling allowed to identify the following predictors of Internet shopping adoption: social capital, measured through educational and professional mobility, engagement in practices enhancing cognitive skills, material and non-material resources and institutional context captured through regional dummies. Predictors for the general population and different income groups were not always the same.

Research Progress:


 

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