The Political Economy of Famine: The Ukrainian Famine of 1933

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data
  • Naumenko, Natalya (George Mason University)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Economic History Center at Northwestern University
  • Balzan Foundation
  • Abstract

    The 1933 Ukrainian famine killed as many as 2.6 million people out of a population of 32 million. Historians offer three main explanations: weather, economic policies, genocide. This paper documents that (1) available data do not support weather as the main explanation: 1931 and 1932 weather predicts harvest roughly equal to the 1924–1929 average; weather explains up to 8.1 percent of excess deaths. (2) Policies (collectivization of agriculture and the lack of favored industries) significantly increased famine mortality; collectivization explains up to 52 percent of excess deaths. (3) There is some evidence that ethnic Ukrainians and Germans were discriminated against.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1927-01-01 / 1933-12-31
    Time Period: Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1927--Sun Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 1933 (1933 famine)
  • 2014-01-01 / 2015-12-31
    Collection Date(s): Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2014--Thu Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2015
Geographic Coverage
  • Ukraine
Sampled Universe
Ukrainian regions (okrugs, as of 1927) and districts (as of 1933) and their characteristics.
Collection Mode
  • data collected from published statistical books and archives

This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
  • Has version
    DOI: 10.3886/E128401V1

Update Metadata: 2020-12-09 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-12-09