- ロシア史研究 (ISSN:03869229)
- no.76, pp.153-168, 2005-05-25
Why vodka monopoly was introduced in Russia? Russian government and S. Witte, minister of finance insisted that government control of vodka trade was required for resolution of the alcohol problem. The monopoly, however, didn't reduce vodka production and supply, and could not resolve the alcohol problem. Thus many studies concluded that the monopoly was required for the fiscal reason. But the vodka monopoly needed enormous expense. In fact even in those days, it was doubted that vodka monopoly earned net profit. I think that two elements are important factor of introduction of monopoly. First of all the monopoly was one of counter Great reform policies. Secondly Witte wanted that Russian empire underwent industrious development. So his essential economic policy was to build an economic infrastructure and stimulate economic development. He reformed tax systems to increase fiscal income. In the case of the vodka monopoly, however, most important purpose was considerable expense itself, which would stimulate Russian economy. The vodka monopoly was rather economic policy than fiscal policy.