Labor Misallocation and Mass Mobilization: Russian Agriculture during the Great War

75 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2013 Last revised: 2 Feb 2017

Paul Castañeda Dower

Florida International University

Andrei Markevich

New Economic School

Date Written: May 20, 2016

Abstract

We exploit a quasi-natural experiment of mobilized draftees in Russia during World War I to examine the effects of a massive, negative labor shock on agricultural production. Employing a novel district-level panel dataset, we find that mobilization produces a dramatic decrease in cultivated area. Surprisingly, traditional farms with communal land tenure exhibit greater resilience to the labor shock than private farms. The resilience stems from peasants reallocating labor in favor of the commune because of the increased attractiveness of its nonmarket access to land and social insurance. Our results support an institutional explanation of factor misallocation in agriculture.

Keywords: factor misallocation; agricultural production; mass mobilization; World War I; Russia

JEL Classification: D24, N44, N54 O12, O17, O20

Suggested Citation

Castañeda Dower, Paul and Markevich, Andrei, Labor Misallocation and Mass Mobilization: Russian Agriculture during the Great War (May 20, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2239084 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2239084

Paul Castañeda Dower

Florida International University ( email )

University Park
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States

Andrei Markevich (Contact Author)

New Economic School ( email )

100 Novaya Street
Skolkovo
Moscow, 143025
Russia
+79629851892 (Phone)
+74991293722 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://fir.nes.ru/en/people/professors/Pages/amarkevich.aspx

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