Soviet power plus electrification: what is the long-run legacy of communism?
AbstractTwo decades after the end of central planning, we investigate the extent to which the advantages bequeathed by planning in terms of high investment in physical infrastructure and human capital compensated for the costs in allocative inefficiency and weak incentives for innovation. We assemble and analyse three separate types of evidence. First, we find that countries that were initially relatively poor prior to planning benefited more, as measured by long-run GDP per capita levels, from infrastructure and human capital than they suffered from weak market incentives. For initially relatively rich countries the opposite is true. Second, using various measures of physical stocks of infrastructure and human capital we show that at the end of planning, transition countries had substantially different endowments from their contemporaneous non-transition counterparts. However, these differences were much more important for poor than for rich countries. Finally, we use firm-level data to measure the cost of a wide range of constraints on firm performance, and we show that after more than a decade of transition in 2002-05, poor transition economies differ much more from their non-transition counterparts, in respect to both good and bad aspects of the planning legacy, than do relatively rich transition countries. However, the persistent beneficial legacy effects disappeared under the pressure of strong growth in transition economies in the run-up to the global financial crisis.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9003.
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Other versions of this item:
- Carlin, Wendy & Schaffer, Mark & Seabright, Paul, 2013. "Soviet power plus electrification: What is the long-run legacy of communism?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 116-147.
- Wendy Carlin & Mark Schaffer & Paul Seabright, 2012. "Soviet power plus electrification: what is the long-run legacy of communism?," Working Papers 43-2012, Macerata University, Department of Studies on Economic Development (DiSSE), revised Jun 2012.
- O43 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
- P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Carlin, Wendy & Schaffer, Mark, 2012. "Understanding the business environment in South Asia : evidence from firm-level surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6160, The World Bank.
- Gomulka, Stanislaw, 1988. "The gerschenkron phenomenon and systemic factors in the post-1975 growth slowdown," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 451-458, March.
- Simon Commander & Zlatko Nikoloski, 2011. "Institutions and Economic Performance: What Can be Explained?," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(2).
- Johnson, Paul & Durlauf, Steven N & Temple, Johnathan R. W., 2004.
Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series
61, Vassar College Department of Economics.
- Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2005. "Financial and Legal Constraints to Growth: Does Firm Size Matter?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 137-177, 02.
- Pradeep Mitra & Marcelo Selowsky & Juan Zalduendo, 2010. "Turmoil at Twenty : Recession, Recovery, and Reform in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2682, August.
- Jan Svejnar, 2001.
"Transition Economies: Performances and Challenges,"
William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series
415, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Dollar, David & Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Mengistae, Taye, 2005. "Investment Climate and Firm Performance in Developing Economies," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1-31, October.
- Carlin, Wendy & Schaffer, Mark E & Seabright, Paul, 2010. "A Framework for Cross-Country Comparisons of Public Infrastructure Constraints on Firm Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 7662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Broadberry,Stephen & O'Rourke,Kevin H., 2010.
"The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521708388, April.
- Broadberry,Stephen & O'Rourke,Kevin H., 2010. "The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521882033, April.
- Broadberry,Stephen & O'Rourke,Kevin H., 2010. "The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521708395, April.
- Broadberry,Stephen & O'Rourke,Kevin H., 2010. "The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521882026, April.
- Robert M. Feinberg & Mieke Meurs, 2008. "Market Reform and Infrastructure Development in Transition Economies," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 237-247, 05.
- Dethier, Jean-Jacques & Hirn, Maximilian & Straub, Stephane, 2008.
"Explaining Enterprise Performance in Developing Countries with Business Climate Survey Data,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
4792, The World Bank.
- Jean-Jacques Dethier & Maximilian Hirn & Stéphane Straub, 2011. "Explaining Enterprise Performance in Developing Countries with Business Climate Survey Data," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 258-309, August.
- Aghion, Philippe & Schankerman, Mark, 1999. "Competition, Entry, and the Social Returns to Infrastructure in Transition Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 2052, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Gérard Roland, 2004.
"Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms,"
MIT Press Books,
The MIT Press,
edition 1, volume 1, number 026268148x, December.
- Gérard Roland, 2000. "Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182033, December.
- Mary Hallward-Driemeier & Scott Wallsten & Lixin Colin Xu, 2006. "Ownership, investment climate and firm performance," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(4), pages 629-647, October.
- Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Aterido, Reyes, 2009. "Comparing Apples with....Apples : how to make (more) sense of subjective rankings of constraints to business," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5054, The World Bank.
- Philippe Aghion & Mark Schankerman, 1999. "Competition, entry and the social returns to infrastructure in transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(1), pages 79-101, March.
- Allen, Robert C., 2012. "Technology and the great divergence: Global economic development since 1820," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-16.
- Wendy Carlin & Mark Schaffer & Paul Seabright, 2006. "Where are the Real Bottlenecks? A Lagrangian Approach to Identifying Constraints on Growth from Subjective Survey Data," CERT Discussion Papers 0604, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
- Good, David F. & Ma, Tongshu, 1999. "The economic growth of Central and Eastern Europe in comparative perspective, 1870 1989," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 103-137, August.
- Simon Commander & Jan Svejnar, 2011. "Business Environment, Exports, Ownership, and Firm Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 309-337, February.
- Gomulka, Stanislaw, 1986. "Soviet Growth Slowdown: Duality, Maturity, and Innovation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 170-74, May.
- Broadberry, Stephen & Klein, Alexander, 2011. "When and why did eastern European economies begin to fail? Lessons from a Czechoslovak/UK productivity comparison, 1921-1991," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-52, January.
- Wendy Carlin & Mark Schaffer, 2012. "The Business Environment in the Transition," CESifo Working Paper Series 3934, CESifo Group Munich.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.