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Sir Robert Giffen Meets Russia in Early 1990s


  • Yochanan Shachmurove

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsyslvania and The City College of The City University of New York)

  • Janusz Szyrmer

    () (CASE-Ukraine, Kiev)


This paper analyzes the theoretical foundations of Giffen goods and details the difficulty with which prior studies have encountered limited empirical proof of Giffenity. Subsequently, a discussion of the economic overview of Russia during the early 1990s is provided. The paper then applies Giffenity to the newly established free market system of post-Soviet Union Russia while acknowledging changes in the prices for goods, specifically, for inferior food commodities. The paper concludes by advocating for the need to incorporate Giffenity into current economic theory to make it more comprehensive.

Suggested Citation

  • Yochanan Shachmurove & Janusz Szyrmer, 2011. "Sir Robert Giffen Meets Russia in Early 1990s," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-020, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:11-020

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rod Garratt, 2005. "A tale of two cities and a Giffen good," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(1), pages 49-56, February.
    2. Davies, John E, 1994. "Giffen Goods, the Survival Imperative, and the Irish Potato Culture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 547-565, June.
    3. Gilley, Otis W & Karels, Gordon V, 1991. "In Search of Giffen Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(1), pages 182-189, January.
    4. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Kogut, Carl A, 1991. "Experimental Confirmation of the Existence of a Giffen Good," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 961-970, September.
    5. Sherwin Rosen, 1999. "Potato Paradoxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 294-313, December.
    6. Di Vita, Giuseppe, 2001. "Are the outputs derived from secondary materials giffen goods?," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 255-260, December.
    7. Peter Sørensen, 2007. "Simple Utility Functions with Giffen Demand," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(2), pages 367-370, May.
    8. David Mckenzie, 2002. "Are tortillas a Giffen Good in Mexico?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(1), pages 1-7.
    9. Robert T. Jensen & Nolan H. Miller, 2008. "Giffen Behavior and Subsistence Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1553-1577, September.
    10. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2002:i:1:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Liebhafsky, H H, 1969. "New Thoughts About Inferior Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(5), pages 931-934, December.
    12. Steindl, Frank G, 1973. "Money and Bonds as Giffen Goods," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 41(4), pages 418-424, December.
    13. George J. Stigler, 1947. "Notes on the History of the Giffen Paradox," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 152-152.
    14. Moffatt, Peter G., 2002. "Is Giffen behaviour compatible with the axioms of consumer theory?," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 259-267, July.
    15. Dougan, William R, 1982. "Giffen Goods and the Law of Demand," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 809-815, August.
    16. Koenker, Roger, 1977. "Was Bread Giffen? The Demand for Food in England Circa 1790," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(2), pages 225-229, May.
    17. H. Leibenstein, 1950. "Bandwagon, Snob, and Veblen Effects in the Theory of Consumers' Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 183-207.
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    More about this item


    Giffen goods; inferior goods; subsistence; Russia; household consumption; post-soviet transition;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment

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