Public Choice

, Volume 130, Issue 3–4, pp 437–456 | Cite as

Why party and how much? The Soviet State and the party finance

  • Eugenia Belova
  • Valery Lazarev
Original Article


Archival data on annual budgets of the Communist party shed light on how this cornerstone Soviet institution was maintained and on the party-state relationships in a one-party polity. The party depended on subsidies from the state budget until the mid-1950s and became largely self-financed afterwards. The costs of maintaining the party were significant compared to other branches of government. We consider three models of the party – “party-agent”, “party-ruler” and “party-political club” – to study the evolution of the party’s institutional role and find that by the 1950s, the party transforms from an economic agent of the state into an increasingly autonomous institution.


Soviet Union One-party regime Public finance Institutions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HoustonHoustonU.S.A

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