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SITE Seminar | Social mobility in times of revolutions and regime changes. Persistence of elites in 20th century Russia

Welcome to the next SITE seminar! On 22 March, Prof. Andrei Markevich from University of Helsinki will present his working paper entitled "Social mobility in times of revolutions and regime changes. Persistence of elites in 20th century Russia" at SSE.

Working paper title: 'Social mobility in times of revolutions and regime changes. Persistence of elites in 20th century Russia'

By: Tom Eeckhout, Andrei Markevich, and Koen Schoors


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). Click on "Expand" below to learn more:

He study 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 my research. He focus on the interconnections between institutions and economic growth, the political economy of state socialism, and the long-run consequences of history.

More about the speaker >>

Interested in attending the SITE Seminar at SSE or online via Zoom?

The link to the seminar will be distributed by invitation only. If you are interested in attending the seminar – please contact site@hhs.se. Follow the instructions below:

  • Type the subject box with “SITE seminar *INSERT SEMINAR TITLE*”
  • Indicate your affiliation and field of interest
  • Please also indicate if you want to attend in person or online

For registered applicants, a Zoom link will be provided prior to the event via email with further instructions.

Photo: Urmosi Levente, Shutterstock


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