The current existing literature on institutional development in post-communist countries fails in providing scholars with a clear and correct picture on the influence socialist institutions have in shaping people’s behavior, and implicitly the current economic development of post-communist countries. Therefore, the aim of this study is to fill the gap previously identified while investigating how proximity to former Soviet Union affects the institutional development of the Romanian provinces of Transylvania and Moldavia during contemporaneous times.
Before proceeding with investigating the premise previously stated, an econometric model had been estimated in which trust had been included as a proxy for institutional development, while using distance from Kiev to respondent as proxy for geographical proximity to former Soviet Union together with gender, age and rural/urban environment as explanatory variables. Accordingly, the multiple regression model previously estimated was expected to distinguish between higher level of trust in the region of Transylvania and lower levels of trust in the region of Moldavia.
However, after empirically testing the econometric model estimated, the main hypothesis of the analysis according to which „the closer a region is to former Soviet Union, the more likely it is for the region to register lower levels of trust in people and in state’s public institutions” was rejected. Contrastingly, the empirical analysis emphasized an inverse relation between trust and distance from Kiev to respondent that the one estimated. In conclusion, Transylvania is characterized by lower level of trust, while Moldavia registers higher levels of trust in people and state’s public institutions.