Paradoxical differences during the first post-war years from the aspect of the performed capital investments and migration in Latvian and Lithuanian industry

Keywords: differences, capital investments, pre-Soviet time investment mobilisation, migration, demographic situation
Language: In Latvian

In the first post-war years as well as later capital investments per one inhabitant in industry in the occupied Baltic countries were smaller than the average data in the USSR. In 1940, in Lithuania the volume of industrial production lagged far behind that in Latvia and Estonia. When the Soviet administration planned for Latvia and Lithuania equal pace of industrial growth — to exceed the level of 1940 by 80 per cent — this meant that the growth of industrial production in Latvia had to be much larger than that in Lithuania. Exactly in the first post-war years the difference in the volume of industrial production in Latvia and Lithuania was historically the largest in the whole period of data registration. Moreover, in Latvia unlike in Lithuania the plan of industrial production growth was exceeded more than twice. In 1946–1950, the rapid growth of differences in the production of industrial goods in Latvia and Lithuania gradually decreased. The initial backwardness of Lithuania in industrial production was only partially determined by the fact that investments in Lithuanian industry in the first five-year period of the Soviet time were smaller than in Latvia. This was influenced by the fact that in Latvia Soviet occupation structures could use extensive industrial investment results of the pre-Soviet period taking over the pre-Soviet fixed assets, infrastructures of industrial production, and urban dwelling spaces undamaged by the war. The necessary workforce was acquired by inviting workers from the “old” Soviet republics, economic refugees from kolkhozes etc. In Lithuania there were no equal opportunities of mobilisation of pre-Soviet investment results, therefore — a smaller inflow of migrants. The decrease of the standard of life in Latvia (including the reduction of average urban living space) was much sharper than in Lithuania, which stimulated a more rapid decrease of the birthrate in Latvia. In Lithuania the birthrate was still high because the decrease of birthrate characteristic of developed countries started later in Lithuania and proceeded longer. Already during the first post-war five-year period, the possibilities of intensive use of pre-Soviet industrial investment results in Latvia rapidly decreased. Shortage of investments was felt during the whole following Soviet period.