The Long-Term Costs of Government Surveillance: Insights from Stasi Spying in East Germany

  title={The Long-Term Costs of Government Surveillance: Insights from Stasi Spying in East Germany},
  author={Andreas Lichter and Max L{\"o}ffler and Sebastian Siegloch},
  journal={PSN: History of Domestic Politics and Conflict (Topic)},
Despite the prevalence of government surveillance systems around the world, causal evidence on their social and economic consequences is lacking. Using county-level variation in the number of Stasi informers within Socialist East Germany during the 1980s and accounting for potential endogeneity, we show that more intense regional surveillance led to lower levels of trust and reduced social activity in post-reunification Germany. We also find substantial and long-lasting economic effects of… Expand
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