ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Russian Economic Boom, Post-1998

The Russian economic growth in 1999-2004, entirely unexpected in 1998, is neither a statistical mirage nor a miracle. It is a recovery from depression, analogous to the recovery in the Soviet economy in the 1920s, combined with favourable world market prices for Russia's chief exports. Since recovery is inherently temporary and at diminishing rates, and commodity prices are notoriously fickle, the current boom is likely to be temporary, in the absence of further growth-inducing factors.

The Russian Economic Crisis

Michael Ellman Robert Scharrenborg Since the end of the 1980s an attempt has been made to implement a liberal revolution in the former Soviet Union. One of the first results was the dissolution of the USSR into 15 independent states, which have pursued a variety of policies. In Russia, during 1991-98 policy initiatives by nominally liberal politicians and their international backers had considerable influence, despite their limited elite and popular support. In the short run the liberal revolution in Russia failed in its economic goal of establishing a civilised market economy. Instead it created a mutant economic system, which was severely shaken by the crisis of May- August 1998 and remains in deep decline.

Soviet Agricultural Policy

Michael Ellman Agriculture occupies a key place in the whole perestrofka struggle in the Soviet Union. This is because Gorbachev needs some visible results from perestrofka if he is to undermine popular scepticism about it (and widespread hostility) and agriculture is one of the very few sectors (the others being individual economic activity and the new non-agricultural co-operatives) where quick results can be achieved.

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