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Micro-Perspectives on Living Standards in Nineteenth-Century Russia

Tracy Dennison and Steven Nafziger ()
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Tracy Dennison: California Institute of Technology, http://www.hss.caltech.edu/

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Peter H. Lindert

No 2011-07, Department of Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics, Williams College

Abstract: In recent years economic historians have turned new attention to questions about standards of living in pre-revolutionary Russia. However, most of the studies to date have focused on a narrow range of measures for predominantly urban areas. We expand on the existing literature with a micro-level analysis, which employs a broader set of measures of wellbeing for a small rural region in central Russia. Our findings suggest that living standards were improving over the nineteenth century, even in such seemingly less dynamic rural areas. Income and consumption patterns, human capital development, and the distribution of resources in the countryside were more variegated than a "subsistence" approach has typically allowed. The micro-level context presented here suggests that state and local institutions should be emphasized in future analyses of rural living standards in pre-Soviet Russia.

Keywords: Russia; livings standards; economic history (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N33 N93 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 59 pages
Date: 2011-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cis, nep-his and nep-tra
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