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Alexander Chayanov


Alexander Chayanov was born in Moscow in 1888. He is best known as a Soviet agrarian economist and expert on agrarian economics. He entered the Moscow Agricultural Institute in 1906. He later became an associate and then full professor and worked there till he was arrested in 1930. He travelled widely and was well respected at home and abroad and was particularly active in the cooperative movement. He was also involved in various Soviet committees concerned with agricultural reform. He was sceptical about large-scale collectivisation and favoured a cooperative approach. He also felt that peasant households would only produce enough for their own subsistence and not produce a surplus, which was needed. This view was criticised by Stalin, though Chayanov ultimately turned out to be right. He was arrested for being head of the Peasant Party (which only existed in his book). A show trial was dropped when he received a lot of support but he was sentenced to five years in Kazakhstan in a secret trial. He was released because of poor health and resumed his teaching career but was re-arrested in 1937 and shot the same day. He wrote numerous technical works on agricultural reform and a novel about the future.

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Alexander Chayanov
Chayanov, Alexander Vasilievich
Чаянов Александр Васильевич (in Russian)
Чаянов, Александр Васильевич (in Russian)