11.45 am to 1.00 pm
Enemies of the people
The Soviet regime forcedly sent millions of enemies of the people, i.e. the educated elite considered a threat to the regime, to Gulag camps across the USSR. We use this large-scale episode of terror as a natural experiment to provide evidence on the long-run persistence of human capital across generations and its effect on economic growth. We combine archive data from the Gulag with the 2018 Russian firm census to show that areas around camps with a larger share of enemies of the people among camp prisoners are more prosperous today, as captured by firms' wages and profits, and night lights per capita.