Interviews with 864 everyday Mongolians in Hovd, Ulaanbaatar, and the surrounding countryside in 1998 and with 410 from the same locations in 2003 reveal they have an increasing appreciation of capitalism. Yet during the time of the research, Mongolians experienced economic and climatic hardships. Why would interviewees favour capitalism under such conditions? Cognitive analysis suggests that interviewees associate capitalism with the benefits of democracy, especially the economic and political freedoms gained since the demise of socialism. They anticipate not only that capitalism will allow them to improve their lives and make their own decisions but also that it will improve Mongolia’s standing in the world. Statistical analysis suggests respondents’ strong correlation between capitalism and democracy. It also suggests correlation between respondents’ perception of capitalism and risk (mostly optimism). However, their association of capitalism with democracy is greater than its correlation with risk perception. Therefore, I surmise that their love of democracy outweighs their concern for their economic future.
Sabloff, P. L. W. (2020). Buying into capitalism: Mongolians’ changing perceptions of capitalism in the transition years. Central Asian Survey, 39(4), 556–577. https://doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2020.1823819