Cultural vs. Economic Legacies of Empires: Evidence from the Partition of Poland

61 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2013 Last revised: 24 Nov 2014

Irena Grosfeld

Paris School of Economics

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Paris School of Economics

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Date Written: November 14, 2014

Abstract

Poland was divided among three empires — Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Prussia — for over a century until 1918. The partition brought about divergence in culture, institutions, and economic development. We use spatial regression discontinuity to examine, which empire effects are persistent. We find that differences in incomes, industrial production, education, corruption, and trust in government institutions disappeared with time as they were smoothed by economic forces and policy intervention. In contrast, differences in intensity of religious practices and in beliefs in democratic ideals, i.e., democratic capital, persist presumably via inter-generational within-family transmission. Differences in railroad infrastructure built by empires during industrialization persisted to this day. Cultural empire legacies have an effect on the political outcomes in contemporary Poland.

Suggested Citation

Grosfeld, Irena and Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, Cultural vs. Economic Legacies of Empires: Evidence from the Partition of Poland (November 14, 2014). Journal of Comparative Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2216146 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2216146

Irena Grosfeld

Paris School of Economics ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014
France

Ekaterina V. Zhuravskaya (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

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