Talk:Economy of the Soviet Union

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The Soviet rejection of computers[edit]

What I think would be interesting would be a discussion on the Soviets rejection of computers and automation and its impact on the Soviet economy. I have read that Soviet leadership saw computers and automation as somewhat anti-proletariat, and therefore never invested the time or the energy into developing them until very late. TDC 20:37, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

You're wrong. Among the first computers in the world there was a large share of Soviet ones.-- (talk) 15:37, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeap, I've seen a recent TV interview with Gorbatchov, where he claimed USSR was investing 1.5 billion rubbles per year in computer industry. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:47, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Problems began in 1950 when Stalin denounced cybernetics as a "pseudo science". When American engineers, who had spied for the Soviet Union, defected and attempted to jump start the personal computer industry in the Soviet Union, it proved impossible due to the rigid bureaucracy and the Soviet practice of attempting to copy Western technology rather than engage in original product development. Central to the problems presented is the fact that even simple computers contain within them a copying program. Access to copy machines was tightly controlled. User:Fred Bauder Talk 15:07, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Look up the BESM-6 mainframe among a large number of other excellent russian designs of that period. The soviets only lagged in chip manufacturing, and not because they didnt know how but because the chip factories cost billions. Kotika98 (talk) 22:50, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Back in the 80's my aunt worked on computers and computer programming in the Soviet Union. I believe they were mostly limited to the university research labs where she worked as well as military bases and military research facilites. Essentially how the computers and internet started in America. NeoStalinist (talk) 18:09, 23 March 2015 (UTC)


As I lived in USSR myself and remember 80s well enough I want to say that it was never close to "extreme poverty, hunger and desease". Shortages were big, but they never went to that level. Also in 70s it was much better, this problems started to appear in the early 80s. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:15, 16 July 2006

What part of the article are you talking about? `'mikka (t) 01:47, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
I saw only downfall of USSR. Distribution of goods, including food, was uneven geographically and also depended on level of privileges one had. My family had no access to "special shops" and thus I clearly remember standing in long rows in hope to get something (i.e. a piece of butter or meat if where lucky). It was not possible to simply walk into nearest shop and by piece of meat or fresh milk or bread. Also popular was shopping tourism - driving around and checking every shop for presence of probably useful goods. Going to neighboring countries to search some commodity goods (furniture, clothes) also was a normal thing, as different USSR block parts had different supply chains and they where no balanced according to actual requirements. Anyone who was not living in Moscow or having access to "special" good distribution system will be able to confirm this. MarisN (talk) 07:34, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Much of the problem was distribution. The Soviet Union produced more milk than the United States, but due to lack of refrigeration and distribution little of it reached consumers in useable condition. Great quantities of meat was produced and sold below cost. Bread was so cheap that people fed their hogs with it. User:Fred Bauder Talk 15:21, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
just take a time and read: Holodomor and Soviet famine of 1932–1933. user:suwa 19:11, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

My family never had issues with food despite not being communist party members. In the late 80's corruption made things harder but actual starvation and malnutrition were unheard of in Soviet Georgia. After the collapse many people started living on bread and water. Nowadays scientists and other high level educated people my family members know in tbilisi can't even get food or work consistently. I'm not sayig the U.S.S.R was all that great but everyone at least got some food, instead of some people eating and other going hungry. — Preceding unsigned comment added by NeoStalinist (talkcontribs) 17:58, 23 March 2015 (UTC)


Constant lowering of prices by the planning agencies led to an unfortunate side effect. As the prices dropped below the equilibrium point, people were always buying all available stock, leading to "empty shelves". The actual food consumption was high, but psychologically the empty shelves proved to be very hard to endure. Even though per capita consumption of most products (with the exception of meat) in Soviet Union was higher than in the United States, people were unhappy. In 1988 consumption of milk and milk products in the USSR was 356 kg per capita (260 kg in the USA), but 44% of the Soviet people said when polled that they were not consuming enough milk. In Armenia, where people consumed 480 kg of milk (1989) 62% of the people were not satisfied with the consumption levels. The situation with most other products (including both food and consumer goods) was similar (figures quoted according to Kara-Murza).

I will not going to reverse this, but this text shows total lack of understanding what was actually happening. The example of milk is extremely silly for one simple reason: at times bread, milk and potatoes were the only available foods in sufficent supply. Naturally, they were consumed in higher quantities than in USA. If you don't have apple juice, lemonaded, if coffe, tea (! who wuld imagine that people would stand in lines for tea!), you drink milk or vodka. You western people don't have a slightest idea what was with food in the whole Eastern bloc, not only Russia. Have you ever heard a once popular joke about the unificatgion of Germanies? "For the first time in their life East Germans ate bananas at will!" The Soviet agrculture was in disaster. At times there was not enough food to feed livestock. I myself being a mathematician in a research institute was sent three years in a row to cut green bushes for forage! Sausages, raw meat, eggs, poultry... You spent half of your free time standing in lines to get these. And when you had your turn, you bought as much as you could, because you was not sure you will have this next week.

And most ridiculous thing of all, people from a village had to come to a city to buy meat or eggs! Muscovies hated suburbs, claiming they buying out everything. But they didn't hate the government that did not send enough stock to these suburbs.

Have you ever seen a Soviet citizen shopping in Socialist Poland or East Germany? The exchange rate was artificially low in favor of rouble. A person was allowed to carry 30 roubles (only!!!!) across the border. And it is unbelievable how much useful things you could buy for 30 roubles when exchanged to Zlotys or Deutsche Marks. Can you believe that at times $1 was 0.67 ruble (officially, but 8 rubles on black market)? The whole Soviet economy was so twisted, skewed and crooked, that it is impossible to logically describe it in several lines how it worked at all.

Soviet people were drinking much milk. Sheesh!!!! Idiotism. Mikkalai 18:43, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Idiotism should refer to your biased views... -YMB29 (talk)

Possibly you are right, but only concerning to the final, declining period of SU's history. One of course could criticize the economy of SU (there was many flaws), but the second economy in the world couldn't be simply told to be totally wrong (especially, if taking in account the initial level of the development). My personal opinion, that the problems of SU is its population the time of late 70' and 80'. To much of the population turned to midcult peasants, Babbitts, blind philistines, whom strived to gain relative well-being comparing to others. That devastating psychology, led to self-collapsing process. Indeed, population of SU have in general deserved to their ill fate. Again it is my personal opinion.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 13:23, 17 May 2005

I must concur with the page editor, these more extreme problems refer to the final period of USSR. At other times there were lines for certain products but not constant agricultural disaster. I spent some years in Russia and I know some people who ate better in Soviet days in spite of the pesky lines. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Almost everyone ate much better during Soviet days. Unlike now, low body mass of people was not a problem... -YMB29 (talk)

The problem with the Soviet economy didnt occur near the end of its run, but was inherently and absolutly flawed. The increased productivity and economic output does not reflect a legitimate economic shift in a country but only the introduction of slave labor into industry. The increase in output was indeed amazing but not when you consider that it was a flame fueled by the lives of the people of russia. The second input above is true in that, hunger, disease, and extreme poverty were rampant. Even those lucky enough to have a job waited for days just to get scraps of meat, eggs and bread that we wouldnt touch in America. Some people say that communism "looks good on paper". I ask them, how good does slavery, tyrrany and opression look? "Proletariens of the world unite!" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gavrisom (talkcontribs) 06:41, 3 May 2006

Maybe you should stop reading only propaganda? -YMB29 (talk)


It is high time to cut the "Planning" section into a separate article, merging it with the additional public domain material from Library of Congress Studies, stored at Gosplan/temp, but searchable in LOC as well: . Mikkalai

Agreed. There is even more stuff at the LOC about Planning, they have a huge amount of info. - FrancisTyers 21:04, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Milk consumption section[edit]

I deleted it. It was written out of total lack of understanding on what was happening: milk and bread were staple foods in Soviet Union, with artificially low prices for them. Of course people consumed more milk than Americans! There were so many skewedness in Soviet economy, so don't even start putting it there without understanding the whole system, or, better, using repotabe analytical works on the issue. For example, did you know that bread was so cheap that in the countryside people bought bread to feed pigs? Of course it is grains are normal kind of nutrient for livestock, but it was impossible to buy it (known as "kombikorm", an abbreviation for "combined forage"). `'mikka (t) 01:45, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I can confirm the fact about buying bread to feed pigs, because 1. bread cost was much less than specialized forage and 2. because it was impossible to get this specialized forage because of the lack of it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Lowering prices[edit]

I removed this naive theory as well. First, there was no "constant lowering". Second, there were no "empty shelves": there were shelves flled with useless things, produced but so ugly that no one wanted them. "Empty shelves" were in food stores. But they were empty because of agricultural disaster, not because greedy people bought everything out. "Emty shelves" (figuratively speaking) were for certain goods, which are necessary, and many people preferred to hoard them "just in case", because it was known that when you need it, you will not find it in stores. And all this had nothing to do with low prices. `'mikka (t) 01:53, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

What?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by YMB29 (talkcontribs) 20:50, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
The Soviet Union produced more shoes than anyone else in the world, enough for 3 pairs a year for everyone. However, long lines would form for a chance to buy fashionable imported shoes. I suppose the managers of the shoe factories were given prizes. User:Fred Bauder Talk 15:35, 28 January 2012 (UTC)


The article credits central planning with revitalizing heavy industry and making USSR the world's second-largest economy. The only 'fault' is that they didn't shift from total control 'in time' to prevent stagnation. I don't think this is a consensus view, but a pro-socialist one. --Uncle Ed 14:51, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I think that is the consensus view among those who are informed. Obviously it does not conform to the view that "Socialism failed". User:Fred Bauder Talk 15:38, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

-I don't see anything wrong with this article. Only very anti-soviet people have been complaining about problems. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 11:41, 21 November 2006

-It's funny that an article that tries to take a neutral stance and isn't completely anti-soviet is considered baised. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:08, 26 November 2006

-I think the fact that certain industries thrived in Soviet Union cannot be debated. However, the economic achievements of the Soviet Union frequently don't take into account the human toll. For example, many of the workers which helped built railroads (necessary for the transportation of goods and people across the largest country in the world) were political and other prisoners and thus were paid nothing (except minimal food). What about the countless of unmet consumer needs, the miserable conditions many had to endure, the large sacrifices in living conditions which many people had to make for "the common good", etc. This "human cost" and suffering is definitely a factor to account for (not easy to do, of course) when considering how Soviet Union was able to increase the overall economic output.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Nmai1 (talkcontribs) 05:45, 18 December 2006

-It definatel is biased. There is nothing that speaks of the overwhelming poverty and distribution errors that occurred. This article does nothing but describe the few (but, in this article, greatly amplified) successes of the soviet economy. It does not speak about housing or how work was assigned either. Consider adding this. This is from the USSR Wiki article:

Although these past achievements were impressive, in the mid-1980s Soviet leaders faced many problems. Production in the consumer and agricultural sectors was often inadequate (see Agriculture of the Soviet Union and shortage economy). Crises in the agricultural sector reaped catastrophic consequences in the 1930s, when collectivization met widespread resistance from the kulaks, resulting in a bitter struggle of many peasants against the authorities, and artificial famine, particularly in Ukraine (see Holodomor), but also in the Volga River area and Kazakhstan. In the consumer and service sectors, a lack of investment resulted in black markets in some areas.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Capitalism&PunkRock (talkcontribs) 22:04, 27 March 2007

  • I am EXTREMELY concerned about this article and its bias. It paints a completely one-sided picture of the Soviet Economy, and is more-or-less completely uncited. The article casually makes claims about Soviet GDP and economic growth rates without providing any sources to back these claims up. Furthermore, looking at secondary sources which can be easily sourced on the internet, a very different picture is painted. Sources such as this: or this: Tell a story about an economy which was unable to ever keep pace with consumer goods, still hadn't constructed much basic infrastructure (including roads) as late as the 1970s, and had to import technology from the West because the economy was deficient at keeping pace. None of this is mentioned in the article at all. Unless the current article is sufficiently cited, and soon, I suggest a MAJOR re-write to remove unqualified statements, and to include these cited aspects of the Soviet Economy. 06:13, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Congratulations, capitalistas! This article is absolutely propagandtastic! Top-notch accomplishment for the private property-uberalles home team. USA! USA! USA! Let the poor suckers who want actual historical information on oh say things like the rate of growth in the Soviet Union, etc., go read books or search on if they're so desperate for a halfway decent presentation of dull things like descriptions and facts.Blanche Poubelle (talk) 05:46, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Removed books[edit]

Removed books abut politics of thre USSR. There are thousands of various books about USSR. Common sense is needed in bibliography. We need books specifically about economy. If there is something useful in these books, please explain. If these books contain something missing in the article, please add article text. `'Miikka 15:13, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Article lacks information[edit]

About the role economic plunder and quasi-colonial exploitation in Soviet occupied countries played to Soviet economy.--Molobo 16:09, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Needs more Graphs on GDP, GNP, etc.![edit]

GDP in the South Caucasus, 1980-99.jpg

Can we please get more of these? showing the growth in the 5 year plans, the stagnation of the 70s and 80s? Population growth? Worker population?--Dwarf Kirlston 01:52, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Kalinin-prospekt-cccp.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Kalinin-prospekt-cccp.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 23:29, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Wartime economy[edit]

Would anyone care to insert a section for this here? It can also use a separate article. I'm ashamed to say I have no time to write one myself.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 02:11, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Taxes in USSR[edit]

There is no information about tax system of the USSR (yep, there were taxes in USSR). Income tax - 13% and sales tax on the groups of the good.

--I am fairly sure that the 13% income tax is the tax of modern Russian Federation and that there was no income tax in the USSR (if there was, most people did not pay it). There were taxes on specific items like alcoholic beverages, money received from abroad, importations of currency, etc. I suppose these could be added to the article if you want, but they do not heavily concern the economy itself. They are an issue of State finances. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:32, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

-- The 13% number is correct, there was a personal income tax of that amount, but I cannot remember if it was called a "tax" or a "pension contribution". Western economics textbooks usually stress that a tax is a tax and it does not matter how its called. Kotika98 (talk) 22:43, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

History needs to be expanded[edit]

We really need an article on the economic history of the Soviet Union. Its amazing that the entire World War II economy of the USSR - which was vastly responsible for winning the war for the Soviets, outproducing the Nazis - is described in half a sentence here... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:01, 27 June 2008 (UTC)


By 1990, the Soviet economy had plunged into its nadir and was estimated at about 20 per cent of the size of the USA.

One need look no further than a few centimetres to the right to see that *apparently* the CIA factbook disagrees with this VERY SIGNIFICANTLY...I'm no expert but my guess is that the CIA didn't go around giving excessively favourable statistics about the economies of communist countries. Constan69 (talk) 13:25, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

---There are several problems here. (1) Obviously it is hard to compare a command economy with a market economy, because many social services in the command economy are not monetised. For example, if you get a scholarship to a university in the US, a fund within the university pays another dept formally for your education. The value is still recorded. If you got a stipend to attend Moscow State University, your tuition, and probably your dormitory room, simply had zero monetary value, only the little allowance you got from the State for food did. This can easily lead to undervaluing of the economy. I believe the CIA tried to account for this to some degree but the independent assessments that claimed the Soviet economy was 20-25% of the US economy did not. (2) Much of the GDP of capitalist economies is inflated for reasons the whole world is only now coming to understand (the lack of economic wealth underlying financial paper assets bubbles). I am afraid this is a problem with the GDP measure itself, and naturally the socialist economies did not use this same formula. (3) Perhaps related to (1), some assessments of GDP that undervalued the Soviet economy were not set at PPP (purchasing price parity). By the same token Russia's economy 10 years ago was about 10-12% the size of the US, though certainly people did not live quite 10 times worse off. (4) After the USSR fell and everyone turned to the CIA and said 'Why did you not know?', people theorised that the CIA was overvaluing the Soviet economy, perhaps partly to justify its own largesse. This is mostly hogwash, though there were reportedly some ideas coming from parts of the CIA in the 70s that the USSR was stronger. I would say most people who claim the Soviet economy was 20% of the US tend to be from the libertarian free-market camp, not from the national security-obsessed faction of US politics.

There are data available online that show the USSR's economic development by this GDP PPP measure in relation to the US. As I recall it, in 1913 Imperial Russia was 13% of the US economy. At the end of WWII it was somewhere near 30%, rising to 55% in 1975, falling to 42% in 1990. So the CIA did measure the relative decline of the Soviet economy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:45, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Actually the CIA and ECP (E.U economic estimates) were careful to include all the value of social services such as the university scholarship you mention. It is I think generally agreed now that the CIA over-estimated USSR economic development, not under-estimated. The European Union estimates are more realistic. See here: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:49, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually, second to the United Nations statistic division, the combined GDP of the ex-Soviet republics (in 1990 and 1995) (link:Ex-USSR republics GDP and composition) was quite small. At 693.2 billion dollars, it compared quite badly with the 5.6 trillion of the US and 3.1 trillion of Japan, Russia alone had 70% of the USSR gdp and was about the size of Brazil (515 billion dollars for Russia and 471.8 billion for Brazil), a little larger than Mexico. Then, the ex-USSR GDP declined to 475.5 billion by 1995, or about 6.5% of the US's GDP and 8.7% of Japan's.
Overall, the USSR economy had the average third world level of per capita development in 1990 and declined to a very poor level of income in 1995. This in terms of market value of production in the international markets (i.e. market exchange rates GDP). PPP GAP was larger for many reasons, including the fact that poor countries have lower price levels than rich countries.

--RafaelG (talk) 18:32, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Correlation between arms race and decline in the Soviet economy[edit]

I think the article is generally pretty good. It's not that bias either way and shows the pros and cons of the Soviet style command economy.

My concern though is why is there little mention of the correlation between the decline in the Soviet economy and the USSR's attempt to achieve military parity with the USA? Particular after the humiliating backdown from the Cuban missile crisis after which the USSR spent huge amounts trying to build up it's nuclear forces, develop a blue water navy, improve the technological sophistication of all branches of it's military and develop overseas bases all at the expense of the well being of it's own people. It was after this period when the Soviet economy really started to stagnate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Badassbab (talkcontribs) 15:24, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

CIA's info towards communists nations was biased[edit]

As you can see by comparing the GDP data from World Bank and CIA in the 1970s and 1980s, CIA's public-released info about communist countries' economies was often biased. CIA's data usually undervalued the communist countries' economy and quality of life. We really shouldn't use CIA's statistics in describing the economy of the Soviet Union. -- Chul.Kwon/discuss/contributions 04:00, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

From what I've seen CIA was constantly trying to make USSR look stronger and more dangerous, so CIA itself and the Military–industrial-congressional complex in general get more funding.

Private businesses and importance of the black market[edit]

I read somewhere (I forget the reference) that Lenin first allowed small private businesses shortly after the Revolution, when the anarchist wing of the Bolshevik Party objected was when he released his essay "On the Infantile Psychology of Leftism". Also, that the black market in SU was almost one-third the size of the official economy--this is huge. If someone else has the time to track down citations I think they would be valuable additions. Historian932 (talk) 03:37, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Check NEP - New Economic Policy - Новая экономическая политика.
And later situation Nomenklatura - номенклатура
suwa (talk) 19:45, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Soviet Apologists[edit]

It is really impressive how many people really believe that the USSR had a strong economy. When I inserted some well referenced data on the before and after of the USSR, with showed that the value of manufacturing production in the regions of the USSR were much lower than standard Soviet estimates, my additions were deleted in 2 days by a self identified socialist. Here the deleted part of the article:

"Long Run Performance"

Before the establishment of the USSR, the Russian empire was already a major economy in the world, the world's largest agricultural exporter and concentrated 5.5% of the world's manufacturing production. [1] From 1865-74 to 1905-1913 it's industrial production was the fastest increasing among major economies, and second to some estimates, annual growth rates between 1887 and 1913 were of about 6.8% per year.[2]

With the coming of WW1 this picture changed greatly, resulting in economic collapse from 1913 to 1921 [3], when their industrial output declined by 69%. With the establishment of the NEP, the Soviet economy began to recover and by 1928 their industrial output had reached pre war levels.

With the 5 year plans, second to official sources, the USSR industrial production increased at a faster rate than capitalistic economies. However, from 1913 to 1990, the value added sector composition estimates produced by the United Nations Statistic Division with GDP figures of the Soviet Republics, tell a different story. After 73 years of Soviet regime and nearly 60 years of 5 year plans, the valued added by manufacturing was 3.7% of the world's total [4], significantly smaller than the 5.5% figure of 1913, although it includes a slightly smaller territory in 1990.

With the economic collapse of the region in the post Soviet years, the valued added by manufacturing production in proportion of the world's total decreased to 1.55% of the world's total, or about 28% of their former relative size in 1913. The long run economic impact of the USSR on the CIS countries was highly negative taking this measure.

The enormous discrepancy between these statistics and the Soviet statistics can be explained by the fact that these statistics refer to value added as measured by the international markets, while Soviet statistics measured production in physical terms and their index was composed of industrial commodities, like steel and electricity, while these industrial commodities have in today's world market are a small value added activity. Most of the global industry in terms of value added in 1995 was composed of high technology products, with the USSR and their successor states didn't produce in significant quantities."--RafaelG (talk) 18:36, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

  • First i'm a socialist not a communist, use your head, a self-declared socialists don't need to support the Soviet Union.
  • Second, your claim that the Russian Empires economy was strong is misleading, it was growing at a pace much slower than the USSR, this is proven none-Soviet statistics
  • Third, I'm not using Soviet statistics, either are my sources.
  • Fourth, the Soviet economy held a spot of having the largest economy in the world and at was growing at a dramatic phase since the late 1920s. However, the economy was never strong due to its technological backwardness. But historians are suprised to this day how the Soviet planned economy was able to grow at the phase it did even with all the inefficiencies in the system.
  • By the end of the USSR, the economy had collapsed due to the Brezhnev stagnation, you can't compare the datas of pre-war Russian Empire (when it was at its hight) and the end of the Soviet Union (when it was in its weakest state). That is an unbalanced analyse of events.
  • You are right, your information is right, but you seem to jump all over the good stuff which the Soviet economy was able to do. The majority of scholars and historians agree that the Soviet economy was developing at a rate higher then that of the west in the 1950s, seeing that this is true, how could the Soviet economy be considered weak? It was more inefficient then its capitalistic counterpart, but it proved to a system that worked okay economically when in the right hands.
  • Stop saying that my sources are not good reliable sources, they all meet the criteria.
    • Stop your arrogance and learn instead of rejecting information. This is like saying that the economic policies of Margaret Thatcher were uneeded for in the UK at the time she ascended to power. --TIAYN (talk) 19:04, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
      • Well, I am only saying that my data doesn't need to be deleted. I haven't deleted anything you have posted (with the exception of the claim that the USSR was the second largest economy in the world in 1991). Even if the USSR had a very fast rate of economic growth between 1928-1940 and 1945-1960, their economic growth record overall between 1913 and 1995 was poor, and it is important to note that. --RafaelG (talk) 21:06, 12 June 2010 (UTC)


I have been using this page to research a school project and have noticed many of the sections are written quite badly, with words in the wrong tense. It appears, at times, as if it has been translated from a russian article. Perhaps someone could go through and ensure all the grammar is correct?

Darz rixx (talk) 20:27, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Soviet foreign trade monopoly[edit]

There is no mention of the Soviet foreign trade monopoly in the article.---- (talk) 16:54, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I found it in "the early 1940s".---- (talk) 17:12, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Copyright concerns[edit]

Several copyright concerns have been located in this article, which needs to be thoroughly evaluated for more. Some material has already been removed as derivative of [1]. While I have not had time to perform a thorough review, I have compared more content and found further concerns in passages such as the following (at the point of its addition in June):

This is a very close paraphrase of the original source, which runs:

Likewise, compare: &

With this source: &

There may be other passages that similarly follow too closely.

While facts are not copyrightable, creative elements of presentation - including both structure and language - are. So that it will not constitute a derivative work, this article may need to be rewritten in the temporary space that is now linked from the article's front, if the close paraphrasing is found to be extensive, or an administrator may restore it to a point prior to the introduction of such text. The essay Wikipedia:Close paraphrasing contains some suggestions for rewriting that may help avoid these issues. The article Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-04-13/Dispatches, while about plagiarism rather than copyright concerns, also contains some suggestions for reusing material from sources that may be helpful, beginning under "Avoiding plagiarism".

Alternatively, if the material can be verified to be public domain or permission is provided, we can use the original text with proper attribution. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 02:23, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Splitting copyright concerns[edit]

So that the article does not continue to display the copyright template and in order to facilitate cleanup, I have split the copyright concern to Economy of the Soviet Union/deleted revisions. If a section is evaluated and cleared, it can be restored (with proper attribution) to the article space. If any content is copied from that subpage, please attribute it by putting in the edit summary "Merging content; see [[Talk:Economy of the Soviet Union/Attribution]] for attribution". Please make sure that any content copied from the subpage does not closely paraphrase or infringe on a source. If the source cannot be checked, it may be safer to rewrite the content in accordance with copyright policy: "Never use materials that infringe the copyrights of others. This could create legal liabilities and seriously hurt Wikipedia. If in doubt, write the content yourself, thereby creating a new copyrighted work which can be included in Wikipedia without trouble." --Moonriddengirl (talk) 00:12, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

It seems that the work may be nearly completed, but it is not yet. The split page has been moved to User:Radeksz/Economy of the Soviet Union, since User:Radeksz has been very kindly salvaging information here. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 16:09, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

slavery as base of soviet "economy"[edit]

Why no one don't want to see and write about how much of GDP was made by slaves in GULAG ? [[:et:Kasutaja:Suwa|suwa]] (talk) 08:05, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Pretty much everyone is interested in that. We do have a big article on the White Sea – Baltic Canal. User:Fred Bauder Talk 16:02, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Book by Robert C. Allen[edit]

I am surprised there is no reference to the rather excellent book on Soviet Industrialization by economist Robert C. Allen. There is quite a bit of data and analysis, focused on capital accumulation strategy, agricultural collectivization, the state of Tsarist economy and it's prospects, etc. Anyone care to have a look: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:30, 6 March 2012 (UTC)


The lead seem to be missing any info on the causes to Russian economic decline, collapse(1970-190) and the reason for Gorbachev reforms. Also if Gorbachev was "continuing economic liberalisation" when and why they started?

Also is this whole block is sourced and chronologically correct?

The complex demands of the modern economy and inflexible administration overwhelmed and constrained the central planners. Corruption and data fiddling became common practice among the bureaucracy by reporting fulfilled targets and quotas, thus entrenching the crisis. Nonetheless, from the Stalin-era to the early Brezhnev-era, the Soviet economy grew much slower than Japan and slightly faster than the U.S. GDP levels in 1950 (in billion 1990 dollars) were 510 (100%) in the USSR, 161 (100%) in Japan and 1456 (100%) in the US. By 1965 the corresponding values were 1011 (198%), 587 (365%), and 2607 (179%).[18]

Because going by the article this would be more inline with text and informative:

From the Stalin-era to the early Brezhnev-era, the Soviet economy grew much slower than Japan and slightly faster than the U.S. GDP levels in 1950 (in billion 1990 dollars) were 510 (100%) in the USSR, 161 (100%) in Japan and 1456 (100%) in the US. By 1965 the corresponding values were 1011 (198%), 587 (365%), and 2607 (179%).[18]
By 1970 the Soviet Union entered the Era of Stagnation, the complex demands of the modern economy and inflexible administration overwhelmed and constrained the central planners. During 1975–85 corruption and data fiddling became common practice among the bureaucracy by reporting fulfilled targets and quotas, thus entrenching the crisis. Leading economic reform towards a market-oriented socialist economy.

-- (talk) 10:02, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

I think there is an error in the following sentence, starting "The USSR's relatively small service sector accounted for just under 60% of the country's GDP in 1990"[edit]

I've taught about the service sector at two Moscow universities. I'm confident the author of that statement meant to say that the "USSR's relatively small CONSUMER sector" ...., not "service sector." Without this change, the sentence doesn't make sense.

Agreed – I fixed it. Rjensen (talk) 07:41, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Foreign Trade/Aid[edit]

Should a section on the Soviet Union's collaboration with foreign firms that had technology they wanted be included. Companies like Ford and Standard oil worked with the Soviets to help build up their industry during the depression when no money was to be made in the West. After WW2 collaboration drastically decreased but trade between the U.S and U.S.S.R continued although it was tiny compared to either nations total economies. NeoStalinist (talk) 18:07, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Computers in the lead[edit]

The lead includes a sentence saying "A glaring weakness after 1965 was an inability to build modern high-speed computers and put them to practical use, as was happening in all other advanced economies.".. most economical text about the Soviet Union do not emphasize computers (e.g. Encyclopedia Britnnica and The Economy of the Soviet Union). One scholar pointing computers out is not enough to raise the significance to such level it is to be included in the lead. Wikipedia is no the place to put forward new interesting ideas into the forefront, but should reflect scholarly consensus. I'm saying "computers" should be removed from the whole article, but just from the lead. Dentren | Talk 16:11, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

take a look at footnotes 43-44 and the numerous books and articles cited by those two scholars. That represents a scholarly consensus. there is a good summary at Bruce Parrott (1985). Trade, Technology, and Soviet-American Relations. Indiana UP. p. 10. . showing the US had 50 times as many computers in 1970 Rjensen (talk) 22:47, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
I am not contesting the truth content of the statements but its adequacy for inclusion in the lead. Dentren | Talk 19:53, 21 June 2015 (UTC)