Shcherbina, Fedor Andreevich
Born Feb. 1 (13), 1849, in the stanitsa (large cossack village) of Novoderevian-kovskaia, in the Kuban’; died 1936 in Prague. Zemstvo (local self-government) statistician; Narodnik (Populist). Corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1904).
Shcherbina received his education at the Petrovskoe Agricultural Academy (now Timiriazev Agricultural Academy) and Novorossiia University (now University of Odessa). He headed the Voronezh Zemstvo Statistical Bureau from 1884 to 1903 and served in the Second State Duma as a member of the Popular Socialists in 1907. Shcherbina emigrated after the October Revolution of 1917.
Shcherbina was the first to compile Russian budget statistics. His studies—especially the work Peasant Budgets (1900)—long provided the methodological framework for the analysis of peasant and worker consumption patterns. V. I. Lenin used Shcherbina’s findings extensively in his works What the “Friends of the People” Are and How They Fight the Social-Democrats and The Development of Capitalism in Russia. Although Shcherbina made a number of methodological errors in his research—largely as a result of his use of the wrong statistical-analysis methods (“abuse of ’average magnitudes’”)—Lenin valued his work highly. At the same time, however, Lenin sharply criticized Shcherbina the Narodnik (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 1, pp. 224–25; vol. 3, pp. 162–63).
Shcherbina wrote several historical works, including the History of the Kuban’ Cossack Host (vols. 1–2, 1910–13), and engaged in social commentary, with articles on such matters as agricultural communes, the artel movement, and peasant life.
WORKSSvodnyi sbornik po 12 uezdam Voronezhskoi gubernii. Voronezh, 1897.
“Krest’ianskie biudzhety i zavisimost’ ikh ot urozhaev i tsen na khleb.” In the collection Vliianie urozhaev i khlebnykh tsen na nekotorye storony russkogo narodnogo khoziaistva, vol. 2. St. Petersburg, 1897.