The Baltic Region

2011 Issue №4(10)

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The features of choosing an institutional development trajectory in Eastern Europe in the 16th—17th centuries: Moscovy and the Polish — Lithuanian Commonwealth



Recent decades have witnessed an increase in the number of works dedicated to the analysis of effects of historical events on the choice of institutions and further economic and social development of regions. This article employs the new institutional economic theory approach to consider the choices regarding title to land and serfdom in Moscovy and the Polish — Lithuanian Commonwealth (earlier the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) in the 16th—17th centuries. The author emphasizes the factors, which affected the choice of institutional development trajectory, and considers the influence exerted by these institutes on the political and military development of these states. This article shows how the contingent property rights in Moscovy turned out to be competitive in the conditions of a considerable contribution of decentralization factors to defence capacity and, opposite to the situation in the Polish — Lithuanian Commonwealth, ensured the formation of large and efficient troops. This work contributes to the research on the property rights and Russian economic history.


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