Becker, Sascha O. Boeckh, Katrin Hainz, Christa Woessmann, Ludger
Year of Publication:
Arbeiten aus dem Osteuropa-Institut Regensburg, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Abteilung 290
Do empires affect human values and behavior long after their demise? We hypothesize that the Habsburg Empire, which was characterized by a localized and well-respected administration, increased people's trust in local state services. In several Eastern Euro-pean countries, communities on both sides of the long-gone Habsburg border have been sharing common formal institutions for over 90 years now. In border specifications that restrict identification to individuals living inside a restricted band around the former border, we find that historical Habsburg affiliation increases current trust and reduces corruption in local public services. There is some indication that the Habsburg effect is also transmitted in person-state interactions more generally, but not in interpersonal interactions. Past formal institutions can leave a legacy through cultural norms even after generations of common statehood.
Habsburg Empire trust corruption institutions geographical discontinuity