Boris N. Mironov
Who Paid for Industrialization? S.Witte's Economic Policies and the Well-being of the Population in 1890-1905 on the Anthropometrical Data,
in: Ekonomicheskaja istorija. Ezhegodnik (Economic Hystory. Yearbook). 2001, Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2002, p.417-427.
Russia experienced significant economic difficulties in the 1880's before Witte assumed the post of the minister of the finance - owing to the agrarian crisis, large external debt, slow progress of industry and agriculture, an unstable ruble and vestiges of serfdom. Witte correctly and thoroughly understood the socio-economic problems of the country, found adequate means to resolve them and managed to implement them. Witte's economic policies in 1890-1905 were carried out in conformity with a carefully developed plan that took into account the country's essential requirements together with its objective opportunities. The industrial revolution was launched, public finances became stronger, vast foreign investments were attracted and a stable currency system was created in Russia over these years. The most important fact, however, is that the intensive economic development of Russia was accompanied by a rise in the well-being of the population, as the increase in the height of men born between 1890-1905, when Witte was in power, attests to.