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Social Mobility in Times of Revolutions and Regime Changes

On the 22nd of March, Professor Andrei Markevich from the University of Helsinki will deliver a presentation on his working paper titled “Social Mobility in Times of Revolutions and Regime Changes: Persistence of Elites in 20th Century Russia” at SSE.

Working Paper: Social Mobility in Times of Revolutions and Regime Changes: Persistence of Elites in 20th-Century Russia

How much do radical changes of social order affect the persistence of elites? To address this question, we analyze the impact of the 1917 Russian Revolution, measuring the spread of Tsarist elite surnames among Soviet and modern Russian elites. We document a quicker decline of elite representation at the start of the Soviet era, but mostly for political and military outcomes during Stalin’s reign. Over the longer haul (1914-2022) we find that, despite a series of post-revolutionary shocks during the 20th century, elite persistence was substantial and very similar for elites from different backgrounds. However, the persistence rate of 0.5 is smaller than the multi-generational estimates Gregory Clark finds for other countries (0.7-0.8). We provide suggestive evidence that family traits and within-elite social capital generated persistence. We also document a substantial contribution of Soviet anti-elite repressive policies to the loss of social status before WWII.

About the Speaker

Andrei Markevich is a university lecturer at the University of Helsinki (Finland) and a professor (on leave) at the New Economic School (Moscow, Russia). He studies the economic history of Russia, Eastern Europe, and North Eurasia. The development of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union in the 18th–20th centuries is at the center of his research. He focuses on the interconnections between institutions and economic growth, the political economy of state socialism, and the long-run consequences of history.

He has published in international refereed journals, including the American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, European Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economic History, Journal of Development Economics, and Journal of Public Economics. The paper on Russian national income in 1913-1928 was awarded the Russian National Prize in Applied Economics in 2011. He was a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Warwick from 2005 to 2007 and a national research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford from 2014 to 2015.

Join the Seminar

If you wish to participate in the SITE Seminar at SSE or join online via Zoom, access to the seminar will be granted exclusively through invitation. To express your interest in attending, kindly reach out to site@hhs.se. Please adhere to the following instructions:

  1. In the subject line, type “SITE Seminar: [INSERT SEMINAR TITLE]”
  2. Specify your affiliation and field of interest.
  3. Additionally, indicate your preference for attending either in person or online.

For confirmed participants, a Zoom link will be shared via email prior to the event, along with comprehensive instructions.