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Economic Persistence despite Adverse Policies: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan

Catherine Guirkinger, Gani Aldashev (), Alisher Aldashev () and Maté Fodor

No 2020-39, Working Papers ECARES from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: We study the long-run persistence of relative economic well-being in the face of highly adverse government policies using a combination of rich historical and contemporaneous data sources from Kyrgyzstan. Even after controlling for unobservable local effects, the economic well-being (measured by income, expenditures, or assets) of Kyrgyz households in the 2010s strongly correlates with the early 20th-century average wealth of the tribes from which these households descend. The degree of economic inequality at the tribe level in the 2010s correlates with the within-tribe wealth inequality in the early 20th century. In terms of channels of persistence, we find support for the inter-generational transmission of human capital, relative status, political power, and cultural traits. Transmission of material wealth, differences in natural endowments, or geographic sorting cannot explain the observed long-run persistence.

Keywords: Wealth distribution; long-run persistence; inter-generational transmission; traditional institutions; tribe; clan; Kyrgyzstan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 D15 O15 O17 N35 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 56 p.
Date: 2020-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro and nep-his
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