Education in Tsarist and Soviet Development

  • Michael Kaser


In their A.B.C. of Communism, Bukharin and Preobrazhensky observed that ‘the transference of power to the proletariat was immediately followed by a nearly tenfold increase in the expenditure upon popular education’.1 They cited, as reliable statisticians, state outlay in Russia as 340 million roubles in 1917 and 2,914 million in 1918; as misleading economists, they failed to deflate current outlays by any index of prices, which rose half as fast, but even so real outlay must have doubled.2 Such an expansion — sufficient for any propogandist — is borne out by the education share of the budget, which rose from 1.2 per cent in 1917 to 6.4 per cent in 1918.3


Market Economy Enrolment Ratio October Revolution Union Republic Professional Employment 
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  1. 3.
    Appendix I (by R. W. Davies) to S. Fitzpatrick, The Commissariat of Enlightenment: Soviet Organisation of Education and the Arts under Lunacharsky (Cambridge, 1971) p. 291.Google Scholar
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    R. Goldsmith, ‘The Economic Growth of Tsarist Russia, 1860–1913’, Economic Development and Cultural Change (April 1961) pp. 441–75; Maddison, Economic Growth in Japan and the U.S.S.R. p. 155, shows 2.5 per cent for 1870–1913, faster than seven of the fourteen countries for which he gives corresponding data.Google Scholar

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© Michael Kaser 1974

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  • Michael Kaser

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