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Title:Economic Origins of the Cold War? An Examination of the Carryover Costs of World War Ii to the Soviet People
Author(s):Linz, Susan Johnston
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Economics, History
Abstract:Although the total real cost of World War II to the Soviet Union has yet to be fully measured, there is no doubt that the economic cost of the war imposed a tremedous burden upon the Soviet people, both in absolute terms and relative to other participants. Calculations by various methods yield estimates of the replacement cost of total material war losses ranging from 5 to nearly 13 years' earnings of the 1945 labor force; a range which appears consistent with the Soviet claim that the war cost "two Five-Year Plans." Not all of these costs, however, were absorbed by the end of the war. A large portion carried over into the postwar period. This study identifies the carryover costs of WW II to the Soviets and examines how the burden of these costs was allocated. It further proposes a means of examining how the actual allocation of the carryover war costs might have changed had different economic policies been implemented in the immediate postwar period. The economic policies under examination in the analysis are central to the ongoing debate over the origins of the Cold War: (a) additional Lend Lease and United Nations' Relief and Rehabilitation (UNRRA) assistance, (b) the proposed, special US loan, and (c) Marshall Plan aid. One interpretation of the focus of this study is that it measures the economic consequences to the Soviets of the origins of the Cold War.
The carryover costs of WW II are viewed from two perspectives. On the demand side, the "view from the bottom" measures the sacrifice imposed upon the population of not receiving additional foreign assistance after the war to reduce the postwar impact of the carryover war costs. On the supply side, the "view from the top" measures the impact additional foreign assistance would have had on reducing the carryover war costs, and hence recovering the prewar size of the Soviet economy more rapidly and/or easily. The estimates derived from each of these perspectives were found to be consistent. An impact figure, calculated using the demand sub-model, indicates that the additional aid would have reduced the carryover war costs, and thus the burden to the Soviet people of WW II, by the equivalent of 6 months' earnings of the 1945 industrial labor force. The long-run effect of such assistance, calculated using the supply sub-model, was found to range from 6 months to 2.5 years' earnings of the entire 1945 labor force.
Issue Date:1980
Description:78 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8108586
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-14
Date Deposited:1980

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