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The first 35 years of Soviet living standards: Secular growth and conjunctural crises in a time of famines

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  • Wheatcroft, Stephen G.

Abstract

This article investigates welfare and living standards in the Soviet Union during the great crises of the first 35 years of Soviet power, during which the USSR experienced 5 major famines. It reviews the classic literature on traditional measures of Soviet consumption and recent critiques of them. It discusses the nature of welfare and welfare indicators, the reliability of Soviet statistical indicators on welfare, and it charts the dimensions of the groups in Soviet society that were most vulnerable to these welfare crises. A range of welfare indicators covering nutrition, mortality and stature are critically examined both regarding their immediate and long-term consequences and the groups affected.

Suggested Citation

  • Wheatcroft, Stephen G., 2009. "The first 35 years of Soviet living standards: Secular growth and conjunctural crises in a time of famines," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 24-52, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:46:y:2009:i:1:p:24-52
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    1. S. G. Wheatcroft & R. W. Davies & J. M. Cooper, 1986. "Soviet Industrialization Reconsidered: Some Preliminary Conclusions about Economic Development between 1926 and 1941," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 39(2), pages 264-294, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Blum, Matthias & Colvin, Christopher L. & McLaughlin, Eoin, 2017. "Scarring and selection in the Great Irish Famine," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2017-08, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    2. repec:pal:compes:v:59:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_s41294-017-0029-1 is not listed on IDEAS

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