October, 17 — regular seminar
Topic: “Technology Adoption in Agrarian Societies: the Effect of Volga Germans in Imperial Russia”
Speakers: Timur Natkhov (HSE), Natalia Vasilenok (HSE)
The Laboratory for Comparative Social Research announces the next regular seminar, which will be held in Moscow (Krivokolenny Pereulok, 3, room 3-333) on October, 17 at 16-45 p.m. Timur Natkhov (HSE), Natalia Vasilenok (HSE) will deliver a report “Technology Adoption in Agrarian Societies: the Effect of Volga Germans in Imperial Russia”.
This paper examines technology adoption in pre-industrial societies. We use the case of a technologically advanced and spatially concentrated German minority in Saratov province of the Russian Empire to study adoption patterns among Russian peasants in late 19th–early 20th century. We find that distance from German colonies predicts the prevalence of heavy ploughs, fanning mills and wheat sowing among Russians, who traditionally sowed rye and plowed with wooden ard (sokha). We show a significant rise in labor productivity in agriculture resulting from the adoption of heavy ploughs. However, we find no evidence for the adoption of non-codified knowledge like blacksmithing, carpentry, textile manufacture, tanning and other artisan skills. Hence, the adoption of advanced tools does not necessary induce the diffusion of skills required to produce those tools. This may well be the key to the problem of slow technological convergence.
Full text is available here.
Everyone interested is invited!
Working language is English.
Videoconference with St. Petersburg office of the LCSR (room 303, 55-2, Sedova st.) will be provided. Guests from St. Petersburg are invited to make a request for a pass to the building to Olesya Volchenko (email@example.com) by 12 am of the seminar’s day.
Guests from Moscow are invited to make a request for a pass to the building to Anastasia Ionova (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 12 am of the seminar’s day.