Aganbegyan, Abel Gezevich

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(b. 1932), leading Soviet economist and organizer of economic research.

Academician Abel Gezevich Aganbegyan began his professional career as a labor economist and was an active member of the group of mathematical economists that emerged in the USSR in the 1960s. He was the Director of the Institute of Economics and the Organization of Industrial Production in Novosibirsk (19661985) and the creator and first editor of the lively journal EKO for many years the best economics journal in the USSR. In 1985 he returned to Moscow and was an important economic adviser to Mikhail Gorbachev. Aganbegyan seems to have played a major role in promoting the illfated acceleration (uskorenie ) program of 19851986. Intended to speed up the national economic rate of growth, the policy mainly resulted in destabilizing the economy by sharply increasing investment in projects without any short-run returns. Aganbegyan was also involved in the preparation of the economic reform announced by Gorbachev in June 1987. This reform did not achieve its objectives but did contribute to the financial crisis and economic destabilization of 19891991. In 1990, Gorbachev requested that he produce a compromise economic program out of the rival Five-Hundred-Day Plan of Stanislav Shatalin and Grigory Yavlinsky on the one hand, and the government program of Leonid Abalkin and Nikolai Ryzhkov on the other. During perestroika Aganbegyan became rector of the Academy of the National Economy. He established a consulting firm and founded a bank, of which he served as CEO for five years, then honorary president. A property development deal he made with an Italian firm was a failure, leaving behind a half-finished building.

See also: five-hundred-day plan; perestroika


Aganbegyan, Abel. (1989). Inside Perestroika. New York: Harper & Row.

Aslund, Anders. (1991). Gorbachev's Struggle for Economic Reform, 2nd ed. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Michael Ellman