IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Micro-Perspectives on Living Standards in Nineteenth-Century Russia

In recent years economic historians have turned new attention to questions about standards of living in pre-revolutionary Russia. However, most of the studies to date have focused on a narrow range of measures for predominantly urban areas. We expand on the existing literature with a micro-level analysis, which employs a broader set of measures of wellbeing for a small rural region in central Russia. Our findings suggest that living standards were improving over the nineteenth century, even in such seemingly less dynamic rural areas. Income and consumption patterns, human capital development, and the distribution of resources in the countryside were more variegated than a ‘subsistence’ approach has typically allowed. The micro-level context presented here suggests that state and local institutions should be emphasized in future analyses of rural living standards in pre-Soviet Russia.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2011-07.

in new window

Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2011-07
Contact details of provider: Postal: Williamstown, MA 01267
Phone: 413 597 2476
Fax: 413 597 4045
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Robert C. Allen & Jean-Pascal Bassino & Debin Ma & Christine Moll-Murata & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2011. "Wages, prices, and living standards in China, 1738-1925: in comparison with Europe, Japan, and India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 32403, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Robert C. Allen, 2003. "Soviet Development in World-Historical Perspective, from Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution
    [Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolu
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  3. Branko Milanovic & Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2011. "Pre‐Industrial Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 255-272, March.
  4. Steven Nafziger, 2008. "Democracy Under the Tsars? The Case of the Zemstvo," Department of Economics Working Papers 2008-23, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  5. Anthony Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Post-Print halshs-00754557, HAL.
  6. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226326498 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Lindert, Peter H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1982. "Revising England's social tables 1688-1812," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 385-408, October.
  8. Allen, Robert C. & Bengtsson, Tommy & Dribe, Martin (ed.), 2005. "Living Standards in the Past: New Perspectives on Well-Being in Asia and Europe," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199280681.
  9. Morrisson, Christian & Snyder, Wayne, 2000. "The income inequality of France in historical perspective," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 59-83, April.
  10. James Fenske, 2012. "Land abundance and economic institutions: Egba land and slavery, 1830–1914," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(2), pages 527-555, 05.
  11. Nathan Nunn, 2008. "The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 139-176, 02.
  12. Facundo Alvaredo & Anthony B Atkinson, 2010. "Colonial Rule, Apartheid and Natural Resources: Top Incomes in South Africa 1903-2005," OxCarre Working Papers 046, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  13. Kuznets, Simon, 1976. " Demographic Aspects of the Size Distribution of Income: An Exploratory Essay," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 1-94, October.
  14. Robert C. Allen & Jean-Pascal Bassino & Debin Ma & Christine Moll-Murata & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2011. "Wages, prices, and living standards in China, 1738-1925: in comparison with Europe, Japan, and India," Post-Print halshs-00647265, HAL.
  15. Nafziger, Steven, 2010. "Peasant communes and factor markets in late nineteenth-century Russia," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 381-402, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2011-07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephen Sheppard)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.