Steven Nafziger

Associate Professor of Economics
Schapiro Hall Rm 335
At Williams since 2006


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

Areas of Expertise

Economic History

Development Economics

Applied Microeconomics


Note: courses in gray are not offered this academic year.

ECON 120(S)

Principles of Macroeconomics

ECON 219 T

Global Economic History

ECON 220

American Economic History

ECON 377(F)

Inspiration/Perspiration: The Economics of Innovation

ECON 455(F)

Research in Economic History


“Decentralization, Fiscal Structure, and Local State Capacity in Late-Imperial Russia,” in Jari Eloranta et al., eds. , Economic History of Warfare and State Formation. London: Springer, forthcoming.

“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.

“Peasants and Politicians: Agricultural Change and Rural Political Institutions in Nizhnii Novgorod Province, 1861-1906” in Ellen Hillbom and Patrick Svensson, eds., Agricultural Transformation in a Global History Perspective. London: Routledge Press, 2013.

 “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.

“Serfdom, Emancipation, and Off-Farm Labor Mobility in Russia, 1861-1900,” Economic History of Developing Regions 27.1 (2012): 1-37.

 “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.

“Communal Institutions, Resource Allocation, and Russian Economic Development: 1861-1905,” The Journal of Economic History (June 2008): 570-575. [Dissertation summary]

Select Working and Submitted Papers

“The Long-Run Consequences of Labor Coercion: Evidence from Russian Serfdom” (with Johannes Buggle), Working paper, 2016

“Capital Structure and Corporate Performance in Late Imperial Russia” (with Amanda Gregg), 2016, under review.

“Collective Action and Representation in Autocracies: Evidence from Russia’s Great Reforms” (with Paul Dower, Evgeny Finkel and Scott Gelbach), Working paper, 2016

“Eastern Europe and the Global Economy, 1800 – 1914,” (with Matthias Morys), Working paper, 2016

“Financial Dynamics: Imperial Russian Corporate Balance Sheets, 1900-1914” (with Amanda Gregg), Working paper, 2016

Select Research in Progress

Serfdom, Emancipation, and the Political Economy of Development in Tsarist Russia (tentative title; book project)

“Paying the Piper? Peasant Tax Arrears in Late Imperial Russia”

“The Economics of Russian Serf Manumission”

“Railroads, Market Development, and Agricultural Specialization in Tsarist Russia”

“Bargaining it Out: The Economics of Russian Serf Emancipation and Land Reform,” (tentative title; with Paul Dower and Andrei Markevich)


Current Committees

  • Committee on Undergraduate Life, Chair