Russia’s Home Front, 1914-1922: The Economy

25 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2012

See all articles by Mark Harrison

Mark Harrison

University of Warwick; University of Birmingham

Andrei Markevich

University of Helsinki - Faculty of Social Sciences; New Economic School

Date Written: February 7, 2012


This paper describes the main trends of the Russian economy through the Great War (1914 to 1917), Civil War (1918 to 1921), and postwar famine (1921 to 1922) for the general reader. During its Great War mobilization the Russian economy declined, but no more than other continental economies under similar pressures. In contrast, the Civil War inflicted the greatest economic trauma that Russians suffered in the course of the twentieth century. The paper identifies the main shocks in each period evaluates the relative contributions of circumstances and policy, and sums up their historical significance.

Keywords: Civil War, Russia, Soviet Union, World War I

JEL Classification: N14, N44, O52

Suggested Citation

Harrison, Mark and Markevich, Andrei, Russia’s Home Front, 1914-1922: The Economy (February 7, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Mark Harrison (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Department of Economics
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom


University of Birmingham ( email )

Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Andrei Markevich

University of Helsinki - Faculty of Social Sciences ( email )


New Economic School ( email )

45 Skolkovskoe shosse
Moscow, 121353

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