Russian Real Wages Before and After 1917

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, aggregate data
  • Allen, Robert Carson (New York University Abu Dhabi)
  • Khaustova, Ekaterina (Arizona State University)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
real wages; income distribution; Russian Revolution
  • Abstract

    Prices of major consumer goods and wages of building craftsmen and labourers in Moscow, St Petersburg and Kursk were collected from administrative records and historical accounts for the years 1824-1937. For the period 1853 to 1937 real wage measures were calculated. There was no overall growth in real wages in the cities studied from 1853 to 1913. The income distribution shifted against labour. Wages increased by 50-100% after the 1917 revolution reaching a peak at the end of the New Economic Policy in 1928. By 1937, however, real wages had dropped back to the level of the 1880s, as the first two Five Year Plans shifted resources to capital investment.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1924-01-10 / 1937-12-31
    Time Period: Thu Jan 10 00:00:00 EST 1924--Fri Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 1937 (1824-1937)
  • 2014-01-01 / 2016-12-31
    Collection Date(s): Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2014--Sat Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2016
Geographic Coverage
  • Russia
Sampled Universe
Building and factory workers in Russia from 1853 to 1937
. Smallest Geographic Unit: The cities of St Petersburg, Moscow, and Kursk
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
  • Allen, Robert. “Absolute Poverty: When Necessity Displaces Desire.” American Economic Review 107, no. 12 (2017).
  • Allen, Robert. “The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War.” Explorations in Economic History 38, no. 4 (2001).

Update Metadata: 2020-12-08 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-12-08