Important Contribution to the Coverage of National Income Statistics and the Economic History of Pre-Revolutionary Russia and the USSRGrigory Khanin
The author of this paper analyses the book by A. Markevich and M. Harrison, “Great War, Civil War, and Recovery: Russia’s National Income, 1913 to 1928”. He highlights the fact that the authors’ (A. Markevich and M. Harrison) calculations introduced in this article significantly expand and clarify the economic situation in Russia and the USSR in 1913-1928 from an economics point of view. For the first time, M. Harrison and A. Markevich evaluate the dynamics of national income and production of individual economic sectors, including the service industry, and compare the economies of Russia and the USSR with other countries in the same period.
The calculations show a more successful development of the economy of Russia than other warring countries during the First World War. In addition, the article analyzes the decline in Russia’s share in the world economy in 1928 compared to 1913. Thereby, the authors make a reasonable conclusion about the decrease in the efficiency of the USSR economy in 1928 compared to the pre-revolutionary period. Estimates of the national income, the personal consumption fund, and the population allowed evaluating the entire economic development of pre-revolutionary Russia, the USSR, and post-Soviet Russia. Finally, the authors reveal the consequences of the economic crises of the 20th century in Russia.
Drawing on personal and other researchers’ calculations, the authors criticize the opinion about the national income growth in 1928 in comparison with 1913 as exaggerated. Its significant drop during the civil war was caused by war communism as well as by the rupture of economic ties.