Soviet mathematical economics and the reformist discourse in the late Soviet Union: affinities and mismatches
Presentation by Olessia Kirtchik in the British Association for Slavonic and East-European Studies (BASEES) Annual Conference, 5-7 April 2014.
The mathematical economics was brought to life in the Soviet Union by a political agenda of the early sixties
favorable to the ideas of optimization. Though the ideas of mathematical economists were applied only in a very limited way, the development of “economic-mathematical methods” contributed to opening the Soviet intellectual space to the latest achievements of Western science, in particular neoclassical economics.
It also opened the way to various interpretations of the optimal functioning of the socialist economy, including
those in terms of decentralization and market.
At the same time, I'd like to challenge a thesis according to which the “Détente” policy created the conditions for a tran
snational dialogue among economists sharing a common language of neoclassical economics resulting in a "neoliberal consensus" which would legitimize and prepare market reforms (Bockman 2007).
Differences in intellectual and practical contexts were accounta ble for specific research agendas and political outlooks of the Soviet economists who didn't point unanimously in the direction of neoliberal reforms.
Panel 4.12 (April 6)
History: Western economic rationality and the late Soviet reformist thinking
– Wilson Court Common Room
Chair: Olessia Kirtchik
(National Research University – Higher School of Economics)
Papers: Sophie Lambroschini (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)
‘“Learning” finance capitalism: the experience of Soviet bankers in the
Chris Miller (Yale University)
‘Shenzhen on the Baltic: What the USSR learned from China’s Special
Economic Zones during Perestroika’
Olessia Kirtchik (National Research University – Higher School of Economics)
‘Soviet mathematical economics and the reformist discourse in the late
Soviet Union: affinities and mismatches’
Discussant: Richard Connolly (University of Birmingham)