Quantitative data about societal and economic transformations in the regions of the three Baltic States during the last hundred years for the analysis of historical transformations and the overcoming of future challenges (BALTIC100) No. EEA-RESEARCH-174
About the project
This project breaks new interdisciplinary ground in the socio-economic history of the Baltic countries, providing for the first time cross-time and cross-country comparable gross domestic product (GDP) data series for all three countries, covering the complete 100 years period since the end of independence wars. Applying a methodology tested in recent research on the economic development of Europe‘s regions since 1900, it will decompose these series down to a regional level to explore trends in the economic and social disparities between regions inside of each Baltic state.
There is a lack of information, based in quantitative date, about societal and economic developments in the Baltic states during the last 100 years. Data is fragmented and often not comparable. With the growing uncertainty surrounding the global crisis caused by Covid-19, the analysis of various past crises with the help of quantitative socio-economic data has become particularly relevant. Such data will allow to better understand the reactions of society and socio-economic processes in the long run in the Baltic states and their regions. Depository of quantitative date will help to understand long-term development trends in the Baltic states, and will be useful both for a better understanding of historical trends and for the development of future regional policies.
The collection and analysis of data for a period of 100 years is necessary in view of the complex reality of history. Different political and economic models have influenced the development of the Baltic states and their regions, and this influence is still being felt. Additional challenges are posed by different interpretations of history in the information space. The tendency to use history as a means of propaganda has grown significantly over the last decade. The collection and analysis of comparative historical data of the Baltic states is important from the perspective of both strategic communication and media literacy. This will make the data available to a wide audience and allow it to be widely used in data-based argumentation.
The aim of the project is to create a depository of quantitative data about societal and economic transformations in the regions of the three Baltic states during the last hundred years and provide a quantitative analysis of the long run trends (since 1920) in regional disparities.
The implementation of the project will include two tasks: (1) creation of data depository with data on economic and social differences between regions of Baltic countries and (2) analysis of long run trends (since 1920) in cross-regional economic and human development disparities. Accomplishing these tasks, the research will be conducted in four directions:
- Demography (data collection, storing and analysis): regional vital statistics, migration, level of urbanization, ageing trends
- Economy (data collection, storing and analysis): regional GDP, impact of changes in the external macroenvironment (Soviet and German occupations, after 2004 – impact of cohesion policy of EU), unemployment, trade turnover, non-financial investment per capita
- Human development (data collection, storing and analysis): education, availability of medical services, municipal expenditure per capita, regional HDI
Methodology of data analysis, analysis of long run trends (since 1920) in cross-regional economic and human development disparities
For estimation of the regional output of Baltic countries the methodology will be used, which is presently used in the quantitative research on economic development of European regions (Rosés J.R.; Wolf N. (Eds) The Economic Development of Europe's Regions. A Quantitative History since 1900. Abingdon: Routledge, 2019).
The structure of the project's four work packages is based on the chronological principle, each focused on the collection and analysis of data for a specific period. Data are compiled and structured in Work Package 5, while Work Package 6 ensures the establishment of a depository and knowledge transfer.
Implementation period: 01.05.2021 – 30.04.2024
Project funding: 999092,70 EUR
Modules (Work Packages)
WP0 Management and coordination of project research activities
WP1 Data collection, analysis: 1920 – 1939 (first independence period)
WP2 Data collection, analysis: 1939 – 1945 (World War II)
WP3 Data collection, analysis: 1945 – 1991 (Soviet occupation period)
WP4 Data collection, analysis: 1991 – 2020 (after restauration of independence)
WP5 Quantitative data analysis, estimations
WP6 Construction of depository, dissemination and communication
Workshop September 27-28, 2021, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences in Valmiera
Scientists from the Baltic states and Norway have started building a database of information on the Baltic states including gross domestic product (GDP) figures that will cover the past 100 years.
In May 2021, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (hereinafter – ViA) with partners from Universities of Tartu and Vilnius as well as the Norwegian School of Economics began working on an ambitious research project within the framework of the Baltic Research Program. The project “Quantitative data about societal and economic transformations in the regions of the three Baltic States during the last hundred years for the analysis of historical transformations and the overcoming of future challenges” (BALTIC100)” will preserve quantitative data by creating a data repository reflecting social and economic transformations in the three Baltic regions over the last hundred years in order to provide a quantitative analysis of a long-term development trends in the region since 1920.
The project leader is Gatis Krūmiņš, a leading researcher at ViA. His explanation concerning the topicality of the project: “We have managed to gather a strong, interdisciplinary team of scientists from the Baltics and Scandinavia that will work to increase the knowledge base concerning our countries. And this is not just a question of economics. This knowledge will allow us to analyze historical events which are still interpreted tendentiously by various parties for various reasons. For example, events in the Baltic states during the occupation of the USSR."
The project involves experienced researchers from Estonia (Olaf Mertelsmann and Martin Klesment, University of Tartu), Lithuania (Zenon Norkus, Vilnius University) and Norway (Ola Honningdal Grytten, Norwegian School of Economics), as well as young scientists who will develop their doctoral dissertations during the project. A statistical data repository will be created, where data series on demographic and socio-economic development indicators will be available up to the regional level. This repository will serve as an open source of reliable information for planning and forecasting different scenarios in regional policy-making as well as for media literacy and strategic communication needs. The project plans to prepare a collective monograph and eight high-quality research papers to be published in international publishing houses.
The Baltic100 project is one of the projects of the Baltic Research Program financially supported by the European Economic Area (EEA) grants. The implementation of the project started on May 1, 2021, with funding in the amount of 999092.70 euros available until 2024.