Kondratiev and Soviet Industrialisation Strategy
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There is a whole school of ‘liberal’ economists in the industrial countries who urge upon the agricultural countries ... that they should concentrate upon agriculture, and do nothing to advance their industry. The same school also extols the virtues of exporting ... The follies of this school have their match in Marxist and nationalist dogmas, according to which the road to economic progress lies through concentrating upon industrialisation. In the heat of the passions aroused by these controversies it seems almost cowardly to take the line that the truth is that all sectors should be expanded simultaneously ...1
(W. Arthur Lewis, 1955)
While analyses of various aspects of Kondratiev’s industrialisation strategy have been given in previous chapters, it is now appropriate to focus primarily on this issue. Kondratiev wrote specifically about Soviet industrialisation on a number of occasions; in an article on the interrelation of industry and agriculture published in 1928, in a report on his trip to America written in 1925, and in a paper on the need for capital improvements in agriculture. The work of other Conjuncture Institute members such as N.N. Shaposhnikov and A.L. Vainshtein was also relevant, but these cannot be examined in full here. In what follows the appropriate Kondratiev works are reviewed, together with a more general comparison of his approach with later writers on this topic such as W.W. Rostow and Alexander Gerschenkron. A short indication of the relevance of Shaposhnikov’s work on net present value is also given.
KeywordsComparative Advantage National Income Agricultural Labour Industrial Growth Labour Power
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