Russian Inequality on the Eve of Revolution

49 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2012

See all articles by Steven Nafziger

Steven Nafziger

Williams College

Peter H. Lindert

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2012

Abstract

Just how unequal were the incomes of different classes of Russians on the eve of Revolution, relative to other countries, to Russia's earlier history, and to Russia's income distribution today? Careful weighing of an eclectic data set provides provisional answers. We provide detailed income estimates for economic and social classes in each of the 50 provinces of European Russia. In 1904, on the eve of military defeat and the 1905 Revolution, Russian income inequality was middling by the standards of that era, and less severe than inequality has become today in such countries as China, the United States, and Russia itself. We also note how the interplay of some distinctive fiscal and relative-price features of Imperial Russia might have shaped the now-revealed level of inequality.

Suggested Citation

Nafziger, Steven and Lindert, Peter H., Russian Inequality on the Eve of Revolution (September 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18383. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2147094

Steven Nafziger (Contact Author)

Williams College ( email )

Williamstown, MA 01267
United States

Peter H. Lindert

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Ave
Davis, CA 95616
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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