The Political Economy of Famine: The Ukrainian Famine of 1933

101 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2018 Last revised: 29 Jun 2020

See all articles by Natalya Naumenko

Natalya Naumenko

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 21, 2020

Abstract

The 1933 Ukrainian famine killed as many as 2.6 million people out of a population of 32 million. Historians offer three main explanations: weather, economic policies, genocide. This paper documents that (1) available data do not support weather as the main explanation: 1931 and 1932 weather predicts harvest roughly equal to the 1924--1929 average; weather explains up to 8.1% of excess deaths. (2) Policies (collectivization of agriculture and the lack of favored industries) significantly increased famine mortality; collectivization explains up to 52% of excess deaths. (3) There is some evidence that ethnic Ukrainians and Germans were discriminated against.

Keywords: Famines, Ukraine, Central Planning, Collectivization, Genocide

JEL Classification: P2, O14, N44, J15

Suggested Citation

Naumenko, Natalya, The Political Economy of Famine: The Ukrainian Famine of 1933 (June 21, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3264362 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3264362

Natalya Naumenko (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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