Economic Persistence Despite Adverse Policies: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan

Catherine Guirkinger, Gani Aldashev, Alisher Aldashev, Mate Fodor

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We study the long-run persistence of relative economic well-being under adverse government policies using a combination of historical and contemporaneous data from Kyrgyzstan. After controlling for unobservable local effects, the economic well-being of Kyrgyz households in the 2010s correlates with the early twentieth-century average wealth of their tribes. Inequality at the tribe level in the 2010s correlates with wealth inequality in the early twentieth century. The likely channels of persistence are the inter-generational transmission of human capital, relative status, political power and cultural traits. Transmission of material wealth, differences in natural endowments or geographic sorting cannot explain persistence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-272
Number of pages15
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number641
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2021


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