Home Biography Scientific Heritage Medals Leontief Readings Leontief Centre

Biography » BIOGRAPHIC PERIOD » Renewal of Relations with Russia

Renewal of Relations with Russia

Leontief’ name was retrieved in Russia only in the 60th.  Academician Nemchinov published the review on Leontief’s book “The Structure of the American Economy”, and then the book was published. Moreover, they even invited the author, which at that time was an exceptional rare. Most likely, there was politics behind this gesture. Khrushyov was going to visit America. Though Leontief was not a political figure, his personality of an outstanding scientist and Russian emigrant embodied a union of the two nations, and his scientific achievements could be used for international cooperation.  They welcomed Leontief respectfully, and in a way toadied to him. All the same, he was not flattered and made no compliments to Russian planned economy, but highly appreciated Goskomstat’s initiative on application the input-output method.

In December 1991 on the initiative of St. Petersburg Mayor A.A. Sobchak and W.W. Leontief the International Center for Social and Economic Research in St. Petersburg, the hometown for the Nobel Prize winner and founder of World Institute of Economic Analysis, was opened.  Wassily Leontief would advise young reformers from Russia, give interviews on the subjects of pricing, monetary policy, allowable forms of state regulation of market processes till his dying days. He would remark with bitterness that his proven models would remain been discussed at conferences and in journals. 

Sergey Vasiliev, Ex-President of Leontief Centre: Leontief’s line of scientific thoughts contravenes post-reforming Russian practices: state regulation scarcely was applied; they would rather introduce liberal reforms. Wassily Leontief would opt for market and state regulation equilibrium.

In 1994 in St. Petersburg his collected works Selected Articles was published, and the book Input-Output method in 1997. The Institute of Economic Planning of the Russian Academy of Science, Institute of Economy and Organization of Industrial Production of the Russian Academy of Science, Institute of Macroeconomic Researches of RF Ministry on Economic Development widen their forecasting researches while modifying and generalizing Wassily W. Leontief’s input-output model.  

Leontief frequented Russia his last years.  A Wiseman, endowed with a great sense of humor and tact, he would not put his recommendations forward. He did not accept a Yeltsin’s offer to become a President’s Advisor because he knew that his school, his methods do require authentic objective statistics unavailable in Russia. He could not but wonder that models constructed “on sand” are the subjects of serious discussions, in fact, economics is not philosophy, and higher mathematics forms its basis.

From the standpoint of the Leontief’s models, their successful using both in Japan and in the USA or Mexico, ideas about Eurasian and Russian particulars way sounds absurdly. If it could be possible in religion and culture – every nation free to believe in their own idols – it is impossible in economy in the epoch of integration, common markets and joint aspiration for success.



Сервер Василия Васильевича Леонтьева © 2010