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Double-Edged Sword: Persistent Effects of Communism on Life Satisfaction

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  • Otrachshenko, Vladimir

    (Justus Liebig University, Giessen)

  • Nikolova, Milena

    (University of Groningen)

  • Popova, Olga

    (Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS))

Abstract

Communism was a two-edged sword for the trustees of the former regime. Communist party members and their relatives enjoyed status and privileges, while secret police informants were often coerced to work clandestinely and gather compromising materials about friends, colleagues, and neighbors. We examine the long-term consequences of such connections to the communist regime for life satisfaction in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. We also calculate a monetary equivalent of those effects and empirically test mechanisms. The findings underscore that past communist regime connections have a persistent but differential effect on life satisfaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Nikolova, Milena & Popova, Olga, 2021. "Double-Edged Sword: Persistent Effects of Communism on Life Satisfaction," IZA Discussion Papers 14712, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14712
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    1. Max Deter & Martin Lange, 2021. "Are the Supporters of Socialism the Losers of Capitalism? Conformism in East Germany and Transition Success," CESifo Working Paper Series 9492, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Communist regime; historical legacy; Eastern Europe; former Soviet Union; life satisfaction; elite networks; Communist party; informants;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies

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