Essay About Russian Economy

Part six examines the negative consequences for high-tech innovation and investment in the current Putin era. The Mixed Soviet Legacy for Technological Innovation For most centuries, Russia has lagged behind other European countries regarding economic and technological development.During the Soviet period, communist dictatorship did succeed in transforming Russia and the rest of the USSR from an agrarian to an industrial economy.The Russian political system has moved in an autocratic direction for the last two decades, but individual freedoms remain high compared to earlier centuries in Russian history.

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Given Russia’s rich human capital endowments, Russia is underperforming.

Russia should be one of the technological centers of the world; a second Silicon Valley. None of the largest tech companies in the world are Russian. Automation in Russian companies is far behind advanced industrial economies.

The Soviet system’s inability to innovate played a central role in the country’s relative economic decline.

The communist regime could command peasants to become factory workers and thereby drive industrialization, albeit a very inefficient and corrupt form of industrialization.

Russians have failed to realize this potential, not because of cultural, historical, and geographical factors, but because of decisions – mostly political decisions – taken by post-Soviet leaders, including first and foremost Vladimir Putin.

Russians are well off today, but could be so much more prosperous. To develop this argument about how politics have held back Russian economic development particularly through stifling technological innovation and investment, this paper proceeds in seven parts.

The biggest initial impact of new political freedoms was a massive brain drain.

Tens of thousands of smart, well-trained engineers and scientists moved to countries where they could exploit their talents most effectively. But the United States, and the Silicon Valley in particular also benefited from the Soviet and Russian emigration.

This rich human capital should have given Russia a real advantage in the post-industrial era.

Russia’s Transition from a Command Economy to a Market Economy The transition from communism to capitalism produced an economic depression in every country in Europe and Eurasia.


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