The Political Legacy of the Gulag Archipelago

32 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2014

See all articles by Natalia Kapelko

Natalia Kapelko

New Economic School (NES)

Andrei Markevich

New Economic School

Date Written: October 30, 2014


We study the long-run consequences of the Gulag on political preferences in modern Russia. We find that the location of a Gulag camp in a district is positively associated with anti-communist voting during the last Soviet 1991 referendum and the first post-Soviet 1996 presidential election. We interpret these results causally, arguing that Gulag camps provided evidence on Soviet political repression, which, in turn, affected the elections’ results. We provide additional evidence on the validity of the “information” channel.

JEL Classification: N14, P26

Suggested Citation

Kapelko, Natalia and Markevich, Andrei, The Political Legacy of the Gulag Archipelago (October 30, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Natalia Kapelko

New Economic School (NES) ( email )

100A Novaya Street
Moscow, Skolkovo 143026

Andrei Markevich (Contact Author)

New Economic School ( email )

45 Skolkovskoe shosse
Moscow, 121353

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