What are the long-run effects of the historical German presence in the Baltic region? Are localities with a higher share of German historical population more inclined to be wealthy today? Did the German colonizers bring individualist values such as high levels of work ethic, self-initiative and trust? Furthermore, the overlapping imperial territories of Estland, Livonia (Swedish Livonia), Polish Livonia and the Grand Duchy of Courland offer an additional basis for divergent development paths in the regions of contemporary Latvia and Estonia.
Vitola draws evidence from the 1897 population census in the Russian Empire, which indicates the share of ethnic Germans and other nationalities in Livonia, Estland, Courland and Vitebsk. Moreover, she uses the Life in Transition Survey (LiTS) to identify differential patterns of social capital, trust, individualism and attitudes toward market economy and democracy in contemporary Latvia and Estonia. Income, unemployment and education data are also derived at the local community level (municipalities, parishes and towns).
Alise Vitola was born in Latvia and received her Ph.D. in Economics from Riga Technical University in 2016. Currently she is doing a post-doc research in the Free University of Berlin, Germany. Her research interests include comparative economic development, institutional economics and regional development.
Co-sponsored by the Institute for European Studies, the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, and the Russian and East European Institute.