Conference Proceedings

The great leap upwards: Anthropometric data and indicators of crises and secular change in Soviet welfare levels, 1880-1960

SG Wheatcroft

Slavic Review | AMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SLAVIC STUDIES | Published : 1999


Assessing the change in the level of Soviet welfare in the first half of the twentieth century presents many problems. There are the problems associated with the reliability and accessibility of Soviet statistics, and there are those associated with the problem of understanding the peculiar nature of the Soviet situation in which a trend toward rapid secular improvements in welfare and life expectancy were accompanied by massive shortterm welfare and mortality crises. These problems are made even more complicated by the intense politicization of this question. In this paper I address all of these problems.