New Russian Economic History

Journal of Economic Literature, forthcoming

94 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2021 Last revised: 22 Apr 2022

See all articles by Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Sergei Guriev

Sciences Po; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Andrei Markevich

New Economic School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 13, 2021

Abstract

This survey discusses recent developments in the growing literature on the Russian economic history of the 19th and 20th centuries. Using novel data and modern empirical methods, this research generates new insights and provides important lessons for development economics and political economy. We organize the discussion around four strands of this literature. First, we summarize and put in comparative perspective research on the long-term trends in economic development and living standards, which shows that throughout history Russia significantly underperformed advanced economies. We also compile reliable quantifications of the human cost of Stalin's dictatorship. Second, we discuss new studies of imperial Russia that partially confirm Gerschenkron's classic conjecture on the institutional explanation for Russia's relatively low level of economic development and on the causes of the revolution. The third strand of the literature focuses on the Soviet period and explains its slowdown over time and the eventual collapse of the system by the command economy's inability to provide incentives to individual agents. The fourth strand documents the long-term economic, social, and political consequences of large-scale historical experiments that took place during both the imperial and the Soviet periods. We conclude by discussing the lessons from these four strands of the literature and highlight open questions for future research.

Suggested Citation

Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina and Guriev, Sergei and Markevich, Andrei, New Russian Economic History (November 13, 2021). Journal of Economic Literature, forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3962960 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3962960

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Sergei Guriev

Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337
France

HOME PAGE: http://econ.sciences-po.fr/staff/sergei-guriev

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Andrei Markevich

New Economic School ( email )

45 Skolkovskoe shosse
Moscow, 121353
Russia

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

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