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Five-Year Plan

Soviet planners under the ægis of Joseph Stalin set up the series of Five-Year Plans as nation-wide centralized exercises in rapid economic development. Fulfilling the plan became the watchword of Soviet bureaucracy, optimistic results of doubtful accuracy abounded, and centralized planning itself revealed the difficulties of its own discipline.

Putative five-year cycles became foreshortened with successes or abadoned in crisis. However, many achievements of rapid development, particularly in heavy industry, persisted despite economic upheaval.

Other developing countries have emulated the concept of central planning setting integrated goals for a finite period of time: thus we may find "Seven-year Plans" and "Twelve-Year Plans".

The People's Republic of China has also used Five-Year Plans, and still nominally does so, though their relevance to the rapidly-developing parts of China where "socialism with Chinese characteristics" (to all intents and purposes, market capitalism) has taken off are doubtful.

See also Stakhanovite movement.