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

28 October 2015
San Francesco - Via della Quarquonia 1 (Classroom 2 )
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.
Buggle, Johannes C.