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Does the share of enemies in a camp (vragi naroda) predict development outcomes today?

Highlights of the presentation "Enemies of the People" by Gerhard Toews on the CInSt research seminar.

Does the share of enemies in a camp (vragi naroda) predict development outcomes today?

Enemies of the people were the millions of intellectuals, artists, businessmen, politicians, professors, landowners, scientists, and affluent peasants that were thought a threat to the Soviet regime and were sent to the Gulag, i.e. the system of forced labor camps throughout the Soviet Union. The authors look at the long-run effects of the forced resettlements of enemies of the people on development outcomes across localities of the ex-Soviet Union

They show that areas around camps with a larger share of enemies among prisoners are more prosperous today, as captured by night lights per capita, firm productivity, wages, and education. The results point in the direction of a long-run persistence of skills and a resulting positive effect on local economic outcomes via human capital channels.

More information can be found here.