Spoiler: Communist leaders promised people in their countries to build socialist paradises. But life in the Soviet Union and its satellite states were miserable. People were poorer and did not live as long as people in the west. People in communist countries died earlier not only because of the mass executions, slave labour in- and outside of prison camps and regime-made famines but also because of environmental disasters causing diseases among the populations.
Updated post about institutions and prosperity.
In a previous post I showed how a future EU membership gave the Baltic countries, and East European countries incentives to reform their economic and political institutions which shape the behaviour of households, firms and politicians.
This post takes the relationship between institutions and growth beyond the EU.
Spoilers. The EU is a success with the perhaps most obvious example being the Single Market which has led to increasing living standards in the EU. But the most important reason for people from the Baltics and Eastern European Countries to join the EU were the EU values of respect for freedom, democracy and human rights. But the EU is not perfect. Once inside the EU, governments with autocratic ambitions as Orban’s Hungary can demount their citizens rights and violate EU fundamental values.
Spoilers. France is a great country. Russia could have been had it not been ruled by a warmonger supported by oligarchs who have robbed their country at the expense of ordinary Russians.Continue reading