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Russian Inequality on the Eve of Revolution

  • Steven Nafziger
  • Peter H. Lindert

Just how unequal were the incomes of different classes of Russians on the eve of Revolution, relative to other countries, to Russia's earlier history, and to Russia's income distribution today? Careful weighing of an eclectic data set provides provisional answers. We provide detailed income estimates for economic and social classes in each of the 50 provinces of European Russia. In 1904, on the eve of military defeat and the 1905 Revolution, Russian income inequality was middling by the standards of that era, and less severe than inequality has become today in such countries as China, the United States, and Russia itself. We also note how the interplay of some distinctive fiscal and relative-price features of Imperial Russia might have shaped the now-revealed level of inequality.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18383.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Publication status: published as Lindert, Peter H. & Nafziger, Steven, 2014. "Russian Inequality on the Eve of Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(03), pages 767-798, September.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18383
Note: DAE LS PE
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  4. Lindert, Peter H. & Nafziger, Steven, 2014. "Russian Inequality on the Eve of Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(03), pages 767-798, September.
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  13. Nafziger, Steven, 2011. "Did Ivan's vote matter? The political economy of local democracy in Tsarist Russia," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 393-441, December.
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  16. Kung, James Kai-sing & Wu, Xiaogang & Wu, Yuxiao, 2012. "Inequality of land tenure and revolutionary outcome: An economic analysis of China's land reform of 1946–1952," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 482-497.
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