Statistical Economic Balances in Unbalanced Times: 'The Balance of the National Economy of the USSR, 1923-24,' Pavel Illich Popov’s Contribution
A Research Annual (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 32), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 167-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-415420140000032009
61 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2021
Date Written: November 24, 2013
This article provides a presentation about Chapter 1 of The Balance of the National Economy, 1923-24, edited by Pavel Illich Popov. The Balance was issued in June 1926 by the Central Statistical Administration (CSU or TsSU) of the USSR, which Popov had headed from July 1918 to January 1926. In the first part of our article, we show how Popov’s work on the balance of the national economy was rooted in the specific scientific and political culture of zemstvo statisticians inherited from the Tsar. Statistical inquiry was considered an objective scientific process based on international standards. Furthermore, like zemstvo statisticians, CSU statisticians developed great autonomous political power. The balance of the national economy was built according to these principles, which met harsh criticism from revolutionaries and Bolsheviks. In the second part, we analyze the contents of Popov’s chapter 1, especially the theoretical foundations of the balance and its connection with Soviet planning. In the third part, we discuss the balance’s significance in the years 1926-1929, years which ended the NEP and launched the first Five-Year-Plan, so as to understand how CSU’s balance didn’t become a standard Soviet statistical instrument and was discarded as a “bourgeois” device.
Keywords: Balance, National Accounting, Schema of Reproduction, Soviet, Planning, Input-Output Tables
JEL Classification: B14, B16, B24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation