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Title: Pomiar wzrostu gospodarczego przy braku agregatowych wskaźników na przykładzie Polski centralnej w XIX wieku
Other Titles: Measuring the Economic Growth in the Absence of Aggregate Indicators: the Case of Central Poland in the Nineteenth Century
Authors: Wojtun, Bronisław S.
Issue Date: 1981
Publisher: Wydział Prawa i Administracji UAM
Citation: Ruch Prawniczy, Ekonomiczny i Socjologiczny 43, 1981, z. 4, s. 351-367
Abstract: During the course of the nineteenth century, industrialization embraced various parts of the Russian Empire. In Central Poland, the most western province of the Empire, industrial revolution had its classical characteristics and its normal path. The resulting economic growth is usually explained in terms of the sustained increase in the real income per capita. In the absence of aggregate measures of economic growth, those indicators were used that were characteristic of that part of Poland. Liberal agrarian reforms and an expansion of agriculture preceded industrialization. The output of grain per capita increased more than twofold. This was an end product of liberal agrarian reforms: the bringing of new lands under cultivation, and of crop rotation introduced after 1840. Since the population more than tripled during the nineteenth century, Central Poland became a country with a food deficite. Pressure on the limited supply of arable land gave an impetus to outmigration to towns, as well as to seasonal migration, and lastly to emigration. The process of industrialization started with cotton textiles and expanded into the coal, and iron and steel industries. The output of coal per capita increased more than twentyfold while the amount of pig iron produced increased fortyfold. An expansion of railroad services accompanied industrialization, the occupational structure of the labour force shifted in favor of nonagricultural employment, and an overall improvement in living conditions occurred, evidenced by a substantial decline in the crude death rate. In European Russia, expansion of agriculture did not precede the industrialization of the country. European Russia not only fed its own population, but also exported grain heavily. The Imperial Russian government provided the stimuli for the expansion of industries. So, European Russia experienced a rapid growth of textiles and of the coal, iron and steel industries and joined the world leading producers on the eve of WWI. However, at the same point of time, European Russia still maintainedits rural character and agriculture provided a gainful employment for three quarters of its population. Also, European Russia displayed a high crude death rate and a very high rate of infant mortality. These two synthetic indicators point to the meagerness of the existence of the population in European Russia which deeply affected emigration. The Grand Duchy of Finland experienced no industrial revolution in the nineteenth century. The overall betterment of the living conditions was the result of the forestry revolution, especially due to the expansion of markets for timber and wood pulp. Finland could not feed its own population. It had no coal and little of the iron and steel manufacturing so necessary to an industrial state. Finland's character on the eve of WWI was rural, and two thirds of its population was employed in agriculture. Nevertheless, Finland's level of living was higher than in the other two provinces of the Russian Empire. This is evidenced not only by a low crude death rate but also by a low rate of infant mortality. This fact, however, did not prevent thousands of Finns from searching for the paradise to be built in the United States of America. The present inquiry brought to light the great heterogeneity of the Russian Empire. It seems that studying its individual parts could provide a better insight ti its rise, fall, and the October Revolution.
Sponsorship: Digitalizacja i deponowanie archiwalnych zeszytów RPEiS sfinansowane przez MNiSW w ramach realizacji umowy nr 541/P-DUN/2016
ISSN: 0035-9629
Appears in Collections:Ruch Prawniczy, Ekonomiczny i Socjologiczny, 1981, nr 4

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