New working paper: A narrow escape? Malthusian pressures in the late Imperial Moscow

I have a new working paper with my friends Vadim Kufenko and Katya Khaustova on Malthusian pressures on late Imperial Russia. Concentrating on Moscow, we find that Malthusian pressures (the short-run relationships between wages, deaths and births) disappeared in the period from 1870 to 1910. However, the escape is narrow (very) and they appear to come back at some points during the 1890s. Our results are consistent with new literature on economic growth in Russia in the decades prior to the Revolution. The abstract is below and the paper is here on SSRN

Did late Imperial Russia suffer from Malthusian pressures? In this paper, we use quarterly demographic and economic data from Moscow to answer this question using a VAR approach. In doing so, we provide the first application of this common methodology in economic history to pre-1913 Russia. We find signs that there was an escape from Malthusian pressures, but that this escape was a narrow one. Our findings are consistent with the existing literature depicting a low, but unsteadily increasing standard of living in Russia during the late imperial period.


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