Why has Eastern Europe lagged behind the West for so long? Long-term patterns of economic growth, retardation and path-dependency.
The collapse of communism in Central, East and South-East Europe (CESEE) led to great hopes for the region and for Europe. Three decades on, the picture is mixed: in many CESEE countries, the transformation process is incomplete, and the economic catch-up has taken longer than anticipated. The current situation has highlighted the need for a better understanding of the long-term political and economic implications of the CESEE experience. Drawing on his own research as well as his editorship of the recently published “Economic History of Central, East and South-East Europe, 1800 to the Present” (Routledge 2020), Matthias Morys outlines where quantitative economic history research stands on the origins and persistence of this fundamental West-East-divide, and suggests some lessons for the 22 countries in the region today.
Matthias Morys is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the Department of Economics at the University of York (UK). He earned a Ph.D. (2006) from the London School of Economics and worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford prior to coming to York. His research interests include monetary and financial history of the 19th and 20th centuries, globalisation in historical perspective, and the economic history of Central, East and South-East Europe.