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

Johannes Buggle and Steven Nafziger ()

No 2016-07, Department of Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics, Williams College

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.

Keywords: Labor Coercion; Serfdom; Development; Russia; Persistence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N33 N54 O10 O43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 58 pages
Date: 2016-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cis, nep-gro and nep-his
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