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Long-Run Consequences of Labor Coercion: Evidence from Russian Serfdom

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Abstract

This paper examines the long-run consequences of Russian serfdom. We use novel data measuring the intensity of labor coercion at the district level in 1861. Our results show that a greater legacy of serfdom is associated with lower economic well-being today. We apply an IV strategy that exploits the transfer of serfs from monastic lands in 1764 to establish causality. Exploring mechanisms, we find a positive correlation between the earlier experience of serfdom and pre-Soviet urbanization and land inequality, with negative implications for human capital investment and agglomeration over the long-run.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes C. Buggle & Steven Nafziger, 2016. "Long-Run Consequences of Labor Coercion: Evidence from Russian Serfdom," Department of Economics Working Papers 2016-07, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2016-07
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    File URL: https://web.williams.edu/Economics/wp/BuggleNafzigerSerfdomConsequences.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mikhailova, Tatiana, 2012. "Gulag, WWII and the Long-run Patterns of Soviet City Growth," EconStor Preprints 121963, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    2. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-3252, December.
    3. Steven Nafziger, 2013. "Russian Serfdom, Emancipation, and Land Inequality: New Evidence," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-14, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    4. Paul Castañeda Dower & Evgeny Finkel & Scott Gehlbach & Steven Nafziger, 2016. "Collective Action and Representation in Autocracies: Evidence from Russia's Great Reforms," Department of Economics Working Papers 2016-08, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrei Markevich & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2018. "The Economic Effects of the Abolition of Serfdom: Evidence from the Russian Empire," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(4-5), pages 1074-1117, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Coercion; Serfdom; Development; Russia; Persistence;

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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