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Foreign Aid and Soviet Postwar Recovery

  • Susan J. Linz

Abstract

This paper examines the economic consequences to the Soviet Union of not participating in proposed aid programs in the immediate postwar period. The cost of World War II to the Soviet Union is compared with the value of economic aid received in the postwar period and with aid potentially available. The traditional story—which suggests that had the USSR received some combination of the proposed aid prgorams, in lieu of reparations, the postwar impact would have been significantly reduced—is rejected.

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1 Linz, Susan J., ed., The Impact of World War II on the Soviet Union (Totowa, N.J., 1985).

2 Linz, Susan J., “Measuring the Carryover Cost of World War II to the Soviet People: 1945–1953,” Explorations in Economic History, 20 (09 1983), pp. 375–85.

3 Nutter, G. Warren, The Growth of Industrial Production in the Soviet Union (Princeton, 1962), pp. 351–54.

4 Holzman, Franklyn, “The Ruble Exchange Rate and Soviet Foreign Trade Pricing Policies, 1929–1961,” American Economic Review, 58 (09 1968), pp. 803–25.

5 p.814.

6 Tamarchenko, M. L., Sovetskie finansy v period Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny [Soviet finance during the Great Patriotic War] (Moscow, 1967), p. 57.

7 Martel, Leon, Lend-Lease, Loans, and the Coming of the Cold War (Boulder, Colo., 1979).

8 Kravchenko, G., Ekonomika SSSR v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny [The economy of the USSR during the Great Patriotic War] (Moscow, 1965), p. 351.

9 Bergson, Abram and Heymann, Hans, Soviet National Income and Product, 1940–1948 (New York, 1954), p. 24.

10 For a complete list of sources see Susan J. Linz, “World War II and Soviet Economic Growth, 1945–1953” in Linz, ed., Impact of World War II on the Soviet Union.

11 Both Holzman's rate and the official exchange rate generate implausibly high reparation and aid contributions of between 8 and 20 percent of cumulative postwar national income. That Germany, having lost the war, could still contribute between 5 and 14 percent of cumulative Soviet postwar national income seems rather far-fetched.

12 Zaleski, E., Stalinist Planning for Economic Growth, 1933–1952 (Chapel Hill, 1980), p. 607; Trud v SSSR [Labor in the USSR] (Moscow 1968), p. 138.

13 Millar, James R. and Linz, Susan J., “The Cost of World War II to the Soviet People,” this Journal, 38 (12 1978), pp. 959–62, and “Reply,” this Journal, 40 (Dec 1980), p. 849;Saraydar, EdwardThe Cost of World War II to the Soviet People: Two Five-Year Plans?” this Journal, 40 (12 1980), pp. 842–48. Calculations of war cost in terms of 1945 work force would be higher because of the reduced size of the postwar work force. For complete discussion see Susan J. Linz, “Measuring the Carryover Cost of World War II”.

14 Moorsteen, R. and Powell, R., The Soviet Capital Stock, 1928–1962 (Homewood, Ill., 1966), pp. 352–65.

15 Patterson, G. and Polk, J., “The Emerging Pattern of Bilateralism,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 62 (03 1947), pp. 118–42;Paterson, T., ed., Soviet American Confrontation: Postwar Reconstruction and the Origins of the Cold War (Baltimore, 1978).

16 Ferrell, Robert, “The Magnanimity of the Marshall Plan and the Obstructionism of Russia,” in Paterson, T., ed., Origins of the Cold War (Lexington, Mass., 1970), p. 86.

17 For a complete specification of the model see Linz, Susan J., “Economic Origins of the Cold War? An Examination of the Carryover Costs of World War II to the Soviet People” (Ph.D. diss., University of Illinois, 1980).

18 Similar conclusions are reported by Wassily Leontief, “The Future Development of the National Income of the Soviet Union,” Research and Analysis Report, United States Office of Strategic Services (Washington, D.C., 1944).

Foreign Aid and Soviet Postwar Recovery

  • Susan J. Linz

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