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From Riches To Rags: The Econo-Geographical Transformation Of North-Eastern Estonia


  • Robert Mikecz

    () (Liverpool Hope University)


North-eastern Estonia and its centre, the town of Narva, had traditionally been a significant centre for industry and transit cargo between Russia and the West. The region's contribution to national output had been substantial. During World War II, Narva was virtually destroyed. The policies of the Soviet era, which led to over-industrialisation and over-urbanisation, transformed this historical Estonian town into a typical Soviet settlement with a predominantly Russian population. The legacies of the Soviet era left post-Soviet North-eastern Estonia and Narva overpopulated and overindustrialised. Since regaining independence in 1991, Estonia has undergone dramatic economic, political, and social changes. The subsequent restructuring of the country’s economy and the neo-liberal economic policies of the successive Estonian governments have adversely affected the development of North-eastern Estonia. Unemployment, ethnic problems, isolation from the rest of the country and widespread urban poverty are all parts of contemporary life in this underdeveloped region. This paper examines the econo-geographical consequences of North-eastern Estonia’s transformation from a centrally plan economy to a freemarket economy with particular reference to their impacts on the urban area of Narva.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Mikecz, 2008. "From Riches To Rags: The Econo-Geographical Transformation Of North-Eastern Estonia," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 10(23), pages 211-218, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aes:amfeco:v:10:y:2008:i:23:p:211-218

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    Estonia; economic transition; regional development; inequality; urban poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics


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