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Labor Misallocation and Mass Mobilization: Russian Agriculture during the Great War

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  • Paul Castaneda Dower

    (Florida International University)

  • Andrei Markevich

    (New Economic School)

Abstract

We exploit a quasi-natural experiment of military draftees in Russia during World War I to examine the effects of a massive, negative labor shock on agricultural production. Employing a novel district-level panel dataset, we find that mass mobilization produces a dramatic decrease in cultivated area. Surprisingly, farms with communal land tenure exhibit greater resilience to the labor shock than private farms. The resilience stems from peasants reallocating labor in favor of the commune because of the increased attractiveness of its nonmarket access to land and social insurance. Our results support an institutional explanation of factor misallocation in agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Castaneda Dower & Andrei Markevich, 2017. "Labor Misallocation and Mass Mobilization: Russian Agriculture during the Great War," Working Papers w0238, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0238
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Irena Grosfeld & Seyhun Orcan Sakalli & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2020. "Middleman Minorities and Ethnic Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms in the Russian Empire," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 289-342.
    2. Jarotschkin, Alexandra & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2019. "Diffusion of Gender Norms: Evidence from Stalin's Ethnic Deportations," CEPR Discussion Papers 13865, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    factor misallocation; agricultural production; mass mobilization; World War I; Russia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General

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