Борзых Ксения Аркадьевна
Spatial Analysis of Grain Prices in the Russian Empire
This research paper examines the grain price convergence and its determinants for the grain market in gubernias of the Russian Empire in 19th century. The main hypothesis implies the grain price convergence occurred by virtue of Russian-specific factors, i.e. costs of grain production, geographic features, developing rail infrastructure, and spatial interaction of gubernias. The panel unit root test and spatial analysis methods are employed to confirm the presence of price convergence and evaluate the effects from spatial interaction between regions. The results reflect the tendency of gubernial prices to converge faster in 1881-1889 and comparatively slower in 1890-1898 due to consequences of agrarian crisis and famine in 1891-1892. Among other factors, increasing production costs, e.g. fire losses, and grain loans are presented as positive factors of grain price dynamics, while harvest productivity and land mobilization influence it negatively. The significance of spatial effects for price convergence is supported while employing Moran’s tests and LM-tests for spatial autocorrelation and spatial panel regression models with spatial lag and spatial error for contiguity and 5 nearest neighbors’ weight matrices. The development of railway system promotes leveling of regional grain prices primarily due to enhancing the spatial interaction of gubernias. Besides facilitating the grain transportation and regions’ connectedness, the introduction of railway system simultaneously contributes to grain market integration in the Russian Empire.