Aleksandar RAKONjAC

Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, Beograd


Implementation of Soviet economic methods in the Yugoslav economy: industry and mining (1945−1947) 


Abstract: The end of the Second World War in Yugoslavia opened a number of issues related to the organization of the economy. Regarding the concept of building the economy and society, the Yugoslav communists had a clear vision of the future structure even before the end of the war. Strong political reliance on the Soviet Union, determined by the war alliance and ideological closeness, decisively influenced the choice of the economic model that was to be implemented in Yugoslavia. The transition to the Soviet-type command economy, with the aim of mastering and applying Soviet experiences in Yugoslav conditions, took place with the wholehearted help of the USSR. This paper will analyze how the methods from the Soviet economic practice were implemented in industry and mining during the two-year period of economic restoration. 


Key words: industry, mining, Soviet economic methods, Yugoslavia, USSR,

Communist Party of Yugoslavia 


Summary: The end of the Second World War was a major turning point in the history of the Yugoslav state. A political party came to power with a radically different view of the social order from the one that ruled in the interwar period. During the Second World War, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, with the help of a respectable military force, managed to complete the liberation of the country and thus create conditions for the transformation of society towards socialism. Lacking experience in government, the Yugoslav Communists relied on the help and expertise of the Soviet Union, its closest ally and patron. Thus, Soviet command economy became a model according to which the Yugoslav party and state leadership began to reshape the economy even before the end of the war. Practical measures, such as norms, categorization of labor, organization of work on scientific ground and “socialist competition”, were introduced into the Yugoslav economy with the aim of optimizing the division of labor and achieving progressively higher productivity. Consequently, the accounting system in companies was consolidated and modernized by applying Soviet uniform bookkeeping, which laid the foundations for modern records and statistics. Along with building institutions for planning of economic development, there was nationalization of private capital, which essentially enabled the state to introduce the reorganization of the economy. The establishment of new organizational forms took place through the corporatization of the entire state sector of the economy at the micro and macro level, and from that process the state economy grew as a single giant corporation. The issue of the organization of the economy was thus unambiguously resolved and a roadmap was set before the adoption of the First Five-Year Plan for the rapid industrialization of the country.