Economics of Trade

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Economics of Trade


in the USSR, the branch of economic science that studies patterns of development of consumer trade as a form of commodity circulation. The economics of trade studies the influence of trade on production and on supply and demand, investigates the correlation between increased volume of commodity turnover and the development of a material and technical basis for trade, and analyzes the interrelations between the size of the commodity supply, the rate and volume of commodity turnover, and the range of goods involved in commodity turnover.

With a view to increasing the efficiency of social production, introducing scientific methods of management, and providing improved service to the people, the economics of trade investigates problems in management and planning and in providing economic incentives in trade. In a developed socialist society, the economics of trade studies problems in such areas as the improvement—for all levels of the trade apparatus—of current planning, long-range planning, and the system of economic incentives. It seeks to determine the volume and structure of public consumption and investigates methods, based on the study of the incomes of individual population groups, for evaluating the effective monetary demand of the population. The economics of trade develops a scientific methodology for the planning of commodity turnover and for the formation and location of commodity supplies. It explores ways to economize actual and embodied labor in the circulation sphere, seeks out reserves of fixed capital stock and of circulating productive capital, and develops methods for making more efficient use of this stock and capital in trade.

The leading institution of the economics of trade—a discipline that is associated with such fields as national economic planning, economic geography, statistics, industrial economics, agricultural economics, transportation economics, the organization of trade, and trade management—is the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of the Economics of Trade and Management Systems. Problems of the economics of trade are also studied at the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for the Study of Demand and Market Conditions, the Scientific Research Institute of Food Services, the Central Scientific Research Institute of Scientific and Technical Information Pertaining to Trade, and the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Trade and Food Service. Issues in the economics of trade are studied at subdepartments of the economics of trade in the country’s higher educational trade institutions and institutes of the national economy.

Theoretical and practical problems of trade are discussed regularly in the newspaper Sovetskaia torgovlia and in the journals Sovetskaia torgovlia, Sovetskaia potrebitel’skaia kooperatsiia, Kommercheskii vestnik, Torgovlia za rubezhom, and Novye tovary.


Dikhtiar, G. A. Sovetskaia torgovlia v period sotsializma i razvernutogo stroitel’stva kommunizma. Moscow, 1965.
Gogol’, B. I. “Ekonomika sovetskoi torgovli.” In Sistema ekonomicheskikh nauk. Moscow, 1968.
Grigor’ian, G. S. V. I. Lenin o torgovle. Moscow, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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