NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Was Stalin Necessary for Russia's Economic Development?

Anton Cheremukhin, Mikhail Golosov, Sergei Guriev, Aleh Tsyvinski

NBER Working Paper No. 19425
Issued in September 2013
NBER Program(s):   DEV   EFG

This paper studies structural transformation of Soviet Russia in 1928-1940 from an agrarian to an industrial economy through the lens of a two-sector neoclassical growth model. We construct a large dataset that covers Soviet Russia during 1928-1940 and Tsarist Russia during 1885-1913. We use a two-sector growth model to compute sectoral TFPs as well as distortions and wedges in the capital, labor and product markets. We find that most wedges substantially increased in 1928-1935 and then fell in 1936-1940 relative to their 1885-1913 levels, while TFP remained generally below pre-WWI trends. Under the neoclassical growth model, projections of these estimated wedges imply that Stalin's economic policies led to welfare loss of -24 percent of consumption in 1928-1940, but a +16 percent welfare gain after 1941. A representative consumer born at the start of Stalin's policies in 1928 experiences a reduction in welfare of -1 percent of consumption, a number that does not take into account additional costs of political repression during this time period. We provide three additional counterfactuals: comparison with Japan, comparison with the New Economic Policy (NEP), and assuming alternative post-1940 growth scenarios.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Acknowledgments and Disclosures

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Gorton and Metrick w19292 The Federal Reserve and Financial Regulation: The First Hundred Years
Muralidharan and Sheth w19341 Bridging Education Gender Gaps in Developing Countries: The Role of Female Teachers
Spolaore and Wacziarg w19361 Long-Term Barriers to Economic Development
Hansen and Imrohoroglu w19431 Fiscal Reform and Government Debt in Japan: A Neoclassical Perspective
Woodford w19368 Macroeconomic Analysis without the Rational Expectations Hypothesis
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us