The Political-Economic Causes of the Soviet Great Famine, 1932–33

70 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2021 Last revised: 29 Oct 2021

See all articles by Andrei Markevich

Andrei Markevich

New Economic School

Natalya Naumenko

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 20, 2021

Abstract

This study constructs a large new dataset to investigate whether state policy led to ethnic Ukrainians experiencing higher mortality during the 1932–33 Soviet Great Famine. All else equal, famine (excess) mortality rates were positively associated with ethnic Ukrainian population share across provinces, as well as across districts within provinces. Ukrainian ethnicity, rather than the administrative boundaries of the Ukrainian republic, mattered for famine mortality. These and many additional results provide strong evidence that higher Ukrainian famine mortality was an outcome of policy, and suggestive evidence on the political-economic drivers of repression. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that bias against Ukrainians explains up to 77% of famine deaths in the three republics of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and up to 92% in Ukraine.

Keywords: Repression, Mass Killings, Ethnic Conflict

JEL Classification: N4, P2

Suggested Citation

Markevich, Andrei and Naumenko, Natalya and Qian, Nancy, The Political-Economic Causes of the Soviet Great Famine, 1932–33 (July 20, 2021). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 21-23, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3894621 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3894621

Andrei Markevich

New Economic School ( email )

45 Skolkovskoe shosse
Moscow, 121353
Russia

HOME PAGE: http://https://andreimarkevich.com

Natalya Naumenko (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

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