Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Henry J. Antkiewicz

Committee Members

Stephen G. Fritz, Gary Shelley


This thesis discusses the interaction between inflation, living standards, and political change in Soviet/Russian history. It traces the establishment and evolution of the Soviet monetary system, inflationary episodes, and their consequences. The goal of this study is to show how inflation affects the lives of ordinary people and how it has contributed to larger changes in Soviet history. Sources include economic statistics and analysis from articles and monographs, as well as first-hand accounts from interviews and newspapers. The results show that inflation was a factor in both the rise and the fall of the Soviet Union. Russia's first hyperinflation (1917-1923) nearly destroyed the economy, and the Bolsheviks were forced to stabilize prices. The Soviet system of price controls prevented inflation, but it also created persistent shortages of food and consumer goods. Mikhail Gorbachev tried to alleviate these problems, but his efforts resulted instead in Russia's second hyperinflation (1992-1993).

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.