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Gulag, WWII and the Long-run Patterns of Soviet City Growth

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  • Mikhailova, Tatiana

Abstract

This paper analyzes the geographical patterns of city growth in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation in relation to the Stalinist policies of the 1930s to 1950s, and WWII. Using a unique data set on the locations of Gulag camps, and on the evacuation of industrial enterprises during WWII, I estimate the effect of these factors on city growth throughout the Soviet and post-Soviet period. The cities where Gulag camps were located grew significantly faster than similar cities without camps. WWII events (location of the frontlines, evacuation) also affected local population growth, but their impact diminished with time and disappeared completely after 25 years. In contrast, the effect of Gulag camps has been permanent.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 41758.

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Date of creation: 09 Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41758

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Keywords: Cities; USSR; Gulag; WWII;

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  1. Yuri Andrienko & Sergei Guriev, 2004. "Determinants of interregional mobility in Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, 03.
  2. Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2011. "History and Industry Location: Evidence from German Airports," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 814-831, August.
  3. Mark Harrison, 1988. "Resource mobilization for World War II: the U.S.A., U.K., U.S.S.R., and Germany, 1938-1945′," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 41(2), pages 171-192, 05.
  4. Ira N. Gang & Robert C. Stuart, 1999. "Mobility where mobility is illegal: Internal migration and city growth in the Soviet Union," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 117-134.
  5. Bosker, Maarten & Brakman, Steven & Garretsen, Harry & Schramm, Marc, 2007. "Looking for multiple equilibria when geography matters: German city growth and the WWII shock," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 152-169, January.
  6. Stephen Redding & Daniel M. Sturm, 2005. "The Costs of Remoteness: Evidence from German Division and Reunification," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 11, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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