The Soviet Economy, 19171991
Its Life and Afterlife
By Mark Harrison
This article appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of The Independent Review
Judged by the criteria of productivity and welfare, the Soviet economy was not a success. It began and ended at about the world average. However, a large population, rich natural resources, and permanent war mobilization allowed the Soviet Union to punch above its economic weight militarily and politically for half a century.