This chapter will begin by describing the major features of the economic histories of the USSR and China necessary for a consideration of the interrelations of education and the economy. Growth of production will be described as a measure of increasing wealth, and therefore of the possibilities for providing a richer education. The description of development will outline the economic basis for a change of the social class structure, as well as the technical changes making demands for new skills. I shall try to assess not only the educational requirements of contrasting development policies, but also what lessons such policies may have for those who carry them out. Since much of the detailed information, especially for China, still remains unavailable only rather tentative speculation is at times possible, but this may suggest lines for future enquiry.