Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Gulag, WWII and the Long-run Patterns of Soviet City Growth

Mikhailova, Tatiana (2012): Gulag, WWII and the Long-run Patterns of Soviet City Growth.


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This paper analyzes the geographical patterns of city growth in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation in relation to the Stalinist policies of the 1930s to 1950s, and WWII. Using a unique data set on the locations of Gulag camps, and on the evacuation of industrial enterprises during WWII, I estimate the effect of these factors on city growth throughout the Soviet and post-Soviet period. The cities where Gulag camps were located grew significantly faster than similar cities without camps. WWII events (location of the frontlines, evacuation) also affected local population growth, but their impact diminished with time and disappeared completely after 25 years. In contrast, the effect of Gulag camps has been permanent.

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