The Economics of Forced Labor

The Economics of Forced Labor

The Soviet Gulag

Author: Paul R. Gregory   Editor: Valery Lazarev
ISBN: 978-0-8179-3942-7
Publication Date: 10/22/2003
Pages: 212

Until now, there has been little scholarly analysis of the Soviet Gulag as an economic, social, and political institution, primarily owing to a lack of data. This collection presents the results of years of research by Western and Russian scholars. The authors provide both broad overviews and specific case studies as they examine
  • The various forms of coercion and the channels through which coerced labor was distributed under Stalinism's heyday, from the late 1930s to the early 1950s
  • Why the Gulag emerged and its perceived economic rationale
  • The chronology of the Gulag from the first major projects—such as the White Sea–Baltic Canal—to the unfinished plans of the 1950s
  • The day-to-day costs of maintaining the Gulag and the great hidden cost of coercion—the loss of productivity
  • How the Soviet leadership desperately sought to find the right balance between extreme coercion and extreme material incentives for the labor force—and how material incentives played an increasingly greater role in later years
  • How Stalin's death provided the excuse for radical reform and the end of the Gulag
Seen together, these contributions present an extraordinary portrait of a major aspect of the Soviet approach to economic achievement whose results should provide an invaluable lesson to future generations.


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Paul R. Gregory

In addition to his Hoover appointment, Paul Gregory holds an endowed professorship in the Department of Economics at the University of Houston, Texas, and is a research professor at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin.

continued



Valery Lazarev

Valery Lazarev was a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow for 2006–2007 and 2007–2008 at the Hoover Institution.

School of Business, University of Houston - Clear Lake

"Funding Loyalty: Soviet State and Communist Party Finance"




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TABLE OF CONTENTS


 

Foreword
     Robert Conquest

vii

 

Acknowledgments

xiii

 

Contributors

xv

1

An Introduction to the Economics of the Gulag
     Paul Gregory

1

2

Forced Labor in Soviet Industry:
The End of the 1930s to the Mid-1950s:
An Overview
     Andrei Sokolov

23

3

The Economy of the OGPU, NKVD, and MVD of the USSR, 1930–1953:
The Scale, Structure, and Trends of Development
     Oleg Khlevnyuk

43

4

The End of the Gulag
     Aleksei Tikhonov

67

5

Coercion versus Motivation:
Forced Labor in Norilsk
     Leonid Borodkin and Simon Ertz

75

6

Magadan and the Economic History of Dalstroi in the 1930s
     David Nordlander

105

7

Building Norilsk
     Simon Ertz

127

8

The White Sea–Baltic Canal
     Mikhail Morukov

151

9

The Gulag in Karelia: 1929 to 1941
     Christopher Joyce

163

10

Conclusions
     Valery Lazarev

189

 

List of Acronyms

199

 

Index

203

The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, founded at Stanford University in 1919 by Herbert Hoover, who went on to become the thirty-first president of the United States, is an interdisciplinary research center for advanced study on domestic and international affairs. The views expressed in its publications are entirely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution.

www.hoover.org

Hoover Institution Press Publication No. 518
Copyright © 2003 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher.

First printing 2003

09 08 07 06 05 04 03 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Manufactured in the United States of America
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The economics of forced labor : the Soviet Gulag / edited by Paul R. Gregory and Valery Lazarev.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8179-3942-3 (alk. paper)
1. Prison industries—Economic aspects—Soviet Union. 2. Forced labor—Economic aspects—Soviet Union. 3. Soviet Union—Economic conditions. 4. Industrialization—Soviet Union. 5. Soviet Union—Politics and government. I. Gregory, Paul R. II. Lazarev, V. V. (Valeric´i Vasil’evich)
HV8931.S65 E26 2003
331.11373—dc22
2003058318


Cover image courtesy of The Jamestown Foundation and Mr. James V. Kimsey.
The painting is by Gulag artist Nikolai Getman. It depicts the Butara gold-sand fields where Gulag prisoners were forced to labor year round breaking up the ground and sifting or panning to separate the gold from the sand. Many died of exhaustion, malnutrition, and sickness due to the extremely difficult conditions.

 



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