Was Stalin necessary for Russia’s economic development?

Anton Cheremukhin, Mikhail Golosov, Sergei Guriev, Aleh Tsyvinski, 10 October 2013



In 1962, a prominent British economic historian, Alec Nove, asked whether Russia would have been able to industrialise in the late 1920s and 1930s in the absence of Stalin’s economic policies (Nove 1962). This question is still important for several reasons.

Topics: Development, Economic history
Tags: collectivisation, industrialisation, Russia, Soviet Union, Stalin

Russia’s national income in war and revolution, 1913 to 1928

Mark Harrison, Andrei Markevich, 11 May 2012



In 1914, Russia joined in the First World War. With the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 Russia’s part in that war came to an end. A civil war soon began, that continued with varying intensity until 1920. It was followed immediately by a famine in 1921.

Topics: Development, Economic history, Europe's nations and regions
Tags: Russian Revolution, Soviet Union, Stalin, state capacity

Stalin as a rational dictator

Konstantin Sonin interviewed by Romesh Vaitilingam, 31 Oct 2008

Stalin’s mass killings are often viewed as the acts of a deranged dictator. But according to Konstantin Sonin of the New Economic School in Moscow, such violence may have reflected the Soviet leader’s rational efforts to avoid losing power. In an interview with Romesh Vaitilingam, recorded at the annual congress of the European Economic Association in Milan in August 2008, he discusses his research and its implications for thinking about modern day dictators.


Unfortunately the file could not be found.

Open in a pop-up window Open in a pop-up window


Download MP3 File (4.23MB)



See Also


View Transcript

Topics: Politics and economics
Tags: dictators, Soviet Union, Stalin

The dictator’s approach to electoral patterns

Konstantin Sonin, 9 August 2008



While the people of the developed world are fascinated by electoral campaigns, more than a half of the world’s population does not have a chance to participate in elections. Yet any dictator needs some popular support; the difference is that he can trim his constituency, eliminating those who do not support him.

Topics: Politics and economics
Tags: revolution, Soviet Union, Stalin

Punishment without crime? The Gulag as a worker-discipline device

Marcus Miller, Jennifer Smith, 10 January 2008



In the 1930s, when Western economies were laid low by mass unemployment, Stalin could claim to have found a cure: a command economy with ambitious five-year plans to promote rapid industrialisation. Deficient demand was not a problem, but what about supply?

Topics: Labour markets
Tags: Gulag, Russia, Stalin, worker discipline

Vox eBooks