Steven Nafziger

Associate Professor of Economics

Schapiro Hall Rm 335


B.A. Northwestern University (2000)
M.A. Yale University, Economics (2002)
M.Phil. Yale University, Economics (2003)
Ph.D. Yale University, Economics (2006)


Steven Nafziger is an Associate Professor of Economics at Williams and a Center Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard. His research focuses on a wide range of issues in the economic history of Imperial and Soviet Russia. Recent papers and book chapters have examined the economic impact of Russian serf emancipation, the political economy of post-1861 Russian economic development, and the financing of the corporate sector in the late-Imperial period. At Williams, Steven teaches courses in introductory macroeconomics, in the economics of innovation, and in several areas of economic history.


“Collective Action and Representation in Autocracies: Evidence from Russia’s Great Reforms” (with Paul Dower, Evgeny Finkel and Scott Gelbach), American Political Science Review, conditionally accepted

“Quantitative Evidence in Russian Economic History,” Slavic Review 76.1 (2017): 30-36

“Russia” (with Andrei Markevich), in Kevin H. O’Rourke and Jeffrey Williamson, eds., Industrial Growth in the Global Periphery Since 1870. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

“Communal Property Rights and Land Redistributions in Late-Tsarist Russia,” Economic History Review 69.3 (2016): 773-800.

“Russian Inequality on the Eve of Revolution” (with Peter Lindert), The Journal of Economic History 74.3 (2014): 767-798.

 “Micro Perspectives on Russian Living Standards, 1750-1917,” (with Tracy Dennison), The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 42.3 (2013): 397-441.

“Big BRICs, Weak Foundations: The Beginnings of Public Primary Education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, 1880-1930,” (with Latika Chaudhary, Aldo Musacchio, and Se Yan) Explorations in Economic History 49 (2012): 221-240.

 “Did Ivan’s Vote Matter? The Case of the Zemstvo in Tsarist Russia,” European Review of Economic History 15 (2011): 393-441.

“Peasant Communes and Factor Markets in Late Nineteenth-Century Russia,” Explorations in Economic History 47.4 (2010): 381-402.

Select Working and Submitted Papers

“The Long-Run Consequences of Labor Coercion: Evidence from Russian Serfdom” (with Johannes Buggle), Working paper, 2017

“Capital Structure and Corporate Performance in Late Imperial Russia” (with Amanda Gregg), 2017, under review.

“The Births, Lives, and Deaths of Corporations in Late Imperial Russia” (with Amanda Gregg), Working paper, 2017

“Eastern Europe and the Global Economy, 1800 – 1914,” (with Matthias Morys), Working paper, 2017

“Economic Dimensions of Labor Mobility in European Russia, 1861 – 1914,” Working paper, 201

Research Interests

Imperial and Soviet Russian History; Economic History; Historical Perspectives on Economic Development