Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution - The Princeton Economic History of the Western World 29 by Robert C. Allen
To say that the greatest economic experience in history - Soviet communism - was also its greatest economic failure is to say what many consider obvious. Here, in an astonishing…
Farm to Factory synopsis
To say that the greatest economic experience in history - Soviet communism - was also its greatest economic failure is to say what many consider obvious. Here, in an astonishing reinterpretation, Robert Allen argues that the USSR was one of the most successful developing economies of the 20th century.
It reaches this provocative conclusion by recalculating national consumption and using economic, demographic and computer simulations to address the "what if" questions of Soviethistory. Moreover, by comparing Soviet performance not only with developed countries but with less developed countries, it provides a meaningful context for its assessment. Although the Russian economy began to develop in the late 19th century on the basis of wheat exports, modern economic growth has become elusive.
But growth was rapid from 1928 to 1970, due to successful five-year plans. Despite the horrors of Stalinism, the construction of heavy industries accelerated growth during the 1930s and raised living standards, especially for the many peasants who moved to cities.
The sudden drop in fertility because of women's education and employment outside the home has also facilitated growth. While shedding light on previously unimaginable achievements of Soviet planning, Farm to Factory also shows, through the systematic analysis of fluid dispersion, that Stalin's worst abuses - such as the bloody aggregation of agriculture - have done little To stimulate growth.
Deceleration of economic development after 1970, when vital resources were diverted to the army and as a Soviet leadership lacked in the original thought of pursuing the extravagant investments.
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