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Government Policies and the Industrialization of Russia


  • Kahan, Arcadius


If we were to reconstruct a blueprint of the Russian government's goals and priorities for industrial development in the late nineteenth century, it would include the following: (1) development of a network of internal transportation, (2) stabilization of the ruble in foreign exchanges through convertibility and the buildingup of an export surplus as a prerequisite for enabling the Russian government to borrow abroad, and (3) stimulation of the development of new industries in Russia and their protection in their “infancy.†Given the relative success of Russia's industrialization during the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries and the important role that the government played in this effort, there is no justification for outright rejection or condemnation of Russian government economic policies. There were, however, serious shortcomings in particular government policies, and the presumed effects that they had upon the industrialization process were not always desirable. This essay is a modest attempt to reexamine Russian government policies on the assumption that the industrialization of Russia was a continuing goal of the state policies beginning with the 1880's and one of relatively high priority. The implication of the analysis is that if some of the defects of the state's policies had been avoided, the process of industrialization in Russia would have proceeded at least at as fast a pace and the economic costs to Russian society would probably have been smaller.

Suggested Citation

  • Kahan, Arcadius, 1967. "Government Policies and the Industrialization of Russia," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(4), pages 460-477, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:27:y:1967:i:04:p:460-477_07

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    Cited by:

    1. Ekaterina Khaustova, 2013. "Pre-revolution living standards: Russia, 1888-1917," Working Papers 13037, Economic History Society.
    2. Anton Cheremukhin & Mikhail Golosov & Sergei Guriev & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2013. "Was Stalin Necessary for Russia's Economic Development?," NBER Working Papers 19425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:oup:ereveh:v:22:y:2018:i:1:p:28-52. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gupta, Bishnupriya & Mookherjee, Dilip & Munshi, Kaivan & Sanclemente, Mario, 2019. "Community Origins of Industrial Entrepreneurship in Pre-Independence India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 402, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Gupta, Bishnupriya & Mookherjee, Dilip & Munshi, Kaivan & Sanclemente, Mario, 2019. "Community Origins of Industrial Entrepreneurship in Pre-Independence India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1189, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    6. Bishnupriya Gupta & Dilip Mookherjee & Kaivan Munshi & Mario Sanclemente, 2018. "Community Origins of Industrial Entrepreneurship in Pre-Independence India," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-318, Boston University - Department of Economics.

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