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The Many Faces of Socioeconomic Change$
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John Toye

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723349

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198723349.001.0001

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Liberal development, 1925–46

Liberal development, 1925–46

(p.58) 5 Liberal development, 1925–46
The Many Faces of Socioeconomic Change

John Toye

Oxford University Press

Keynes’s writings are often disregarded in the context of economic development, overlooking that Russia was a developing country in his lifetime. He wrote about the experimental economic techniques that the Soviet government employed. He visited Russia three times and wrote A Short View of Russia in which he explained and criticized Bolsheviks’ policy of export and import monopolies, an overvalued exchange rate, inflationary government finance, and the subsidization of industry. These were policies that many developing countries adopted after decolonization. Keynes’s conclusion was that they were inefficient and that ‘bourgeois economics was valid in a communist country’. Did Keynes change his mind in the 1930s? If anything, he grew more harshly critical of Soviet economic policies and carefully distinguished them from his own endorsement of moderate trade protection and government supplementary investment in times of depression.

Keywords:   Keynes, Soviet Russia, policy experiment, inefficiencies, liberalism, neo-liberalism

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