In 1931–3 the Soviet Union plunged into a profound economic and social crisis, from which it began to emerge only in the last few months of 1933. In belated response to the crisis, the Soviet authorities - and Stalin personally - gradually relinquished the rash over-confidence which characterised their economic policies at the beginning of the period; by the end of 1933 both the annual plans and the draft second five-year plan were far more realistic. The crisis also imposed on the authorities an anguished search - in both principle and practice - for a more flexible economic system. In the system which had emerged by the end of 1933, market and quasi-market elements, and economic incentives, played a definite though subordinate role; this system continued without fundamental change until 1985.


Machine Tool Retail Prex Capital Equipment Western Technology Soviet Authority 
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© R. W. Davies 1996

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