Industrial Economics

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Economics, Industrial


in the USSR, the branch of economic science that studies industry as an integrated system of interrelated branches, sectors, and enterprises, or associations. Industrial economics took shape with the advent of large-scale socialist industry, which constitutes its field of inquiry.

Industrial economics studies the various manifestations of the objective economic laws of socialism in industry and devises economic management systems and techniques designed to increase efficiency and improve the quality of performance in all the branches and units of industrial production. Industrial economics includes the economics of individual branches (including the coal, oil refining, natural gas, chemical, and food sectors, light industry, power generation, metallurgy, and machine building); each of these subdivisions of economics examines the economic designation of products, material and technical base, and personnel makeup of the particular branch, as well as interbranch relations and branch differences with respect to fixed capital stock, circulating productive capital, makeup of production costs, and types of enterprises (including differences in size, level of specialization, location, and organization of labor and production).

The complexity of production activities of modern industrial enterprises has given rise to a separate scientific discipline known as enterprise economics (”the organization, planning, and management of the enterprise”). Enterprise economics explores the problems pertaining to the economic operations of the enterprise, or association, and to the state’s guidance of its activity, and it studies rational methods of combining all elements of the production process toward their optimum utilization.

Industrial economics is related to several allied fields of knowledge—namely, national economic planning, statistics, labor economics, economic geography, finance and credit, and pricing—as well as to the technical and mathematical sciences.

Research studies of industrial economics are undertaken in the academic institutions, in the scientific institutions of the various branches, in the institutions of higher education throughout the country, and in various subdivisions of the institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and of the Union republics. Each of the branch research institutes is engaged in research on the economics of a given branch of industry. Various technical institutions of higher education have departments of industrial economics and departments of economics of individual branches of industry; these departments investigate problems related to the economics, planning, organization, and management of industrial production. Research studies are chiefly concerned with economic efficiency of production, the rational use of natural resources as industry’s raw-material base, and the optimization of planning and operational decisions and techniques for improving the management of industrial production and of its branches, associations, and enterprises.

The major press organs that publish industrial economics research studies are the journals Voprosy ekonomiki, Planovoe khoziaistvo, Ekonomika i organizatsüa promyshlennogo proiz-vodstva, Ekonomicheskie nauki, and the collection of abstracts Ekonomika promyshlennosti. All the central scientific and technical journals of the various branches of industry have special sections devoted to the industrial economics of the given branch.


Efimov, A. N. Ekonomika i planirovanie sovetskoi promyshlennosti. Moscow, 1970.
Ekonomika sotsialisticheskoi promyshlennosti, 5th ed. Edited by L. I. Itin. Moscow, 1974.


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