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Persistent effects of empires: Evidence from the partitions of Poland

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  • Irena Grosfeld

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

We use spatial regression discontinuity analysis to test whether the historical partition of Poland among three empires--Russia, Austria‐Hungary, and Prussia--has a persistent effect on political outcomes in contemporary Poland and to examine the channels of this influence. We find that the main difference in voting across Polish territories attributed by many observers to the legacy of empires is driven by omitted variables. However, empires do have a significant causal effect. The lands that belonged to Prussia (compared with those that belonged to Russia) vote more for anticommunist (post‐Solidarity) parties. This difference is largely explained by the persistent effect of infrastructure built by Prussians at the time of industrialization. The former Austrian lands (compared with former Russian lands) votes more for religious conservatives and for liberals. The difference in the vote for religious conservatives is explained by persistent differences in church attendance driven by vastly different policies of the two empires toward the Catholic Church. Higher support for liberals on the Austrian side is partly explained by a persistent belief in democracy, which is a legacy of decentralized democratic governance of the Austrian empire.

Suggested Citation

  • Irena Grosfeld & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2013. "Persistent effects of empires: Evidence from the partitions of Poland," PSE Working Papers halshs-00795231, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00795231
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Breinlich, Holger & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2014. "Regional Growth and Regional Decline," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 4, pages 683-779, Elsevier.
    4. Jha, Saumitra, 2014. "‘Unfinished business’: Historic complementarities, political competition and ethnic violence in Gujarat," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 18-36.
    5. Erik Berglof, 2015. "New structural economics meets European transition," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 114-130, June.
    6. Saumitra Jha, 2013. ""Unfinished Business": Ethnic Complementarities and the Political Contagion of Peace and Conflict in Gujarat," NBER Working Papers 19203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Vasily Astrov & Mahdi Ghodsi & Vladimir Gligorov & Richard Grieveson & Julia Grübler & Sebastian Leitner & Robert Stehrer, 2016. "Monthly Report No. 11/2016," wiiw Monthly Reports 2016-11, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Persistence; Empires; Culture; Poland; Partitions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • P43 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Finance; Public Finance
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • P50 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - General
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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