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Measuring The Performance Of A Communist Command Economy: An Assessment Of The Cia Estimates For The U.S.S.R


  • Angus Maddison


There are major methodological and practical problems in comparing the performance of capitalist and communist economies. They have been most carefully analysed for the former Soviet Union, for which there was a huge research input, mainly by the CIA. The CIA effort had considerable merit, particularly in assessing Soviet rates of growth. Unfortunately, it was terminated in 1991, partly because it suffered from unduly harsh criticism, partly because its political relevance waned. However, the CIA archives remain an important source for the study of comparative economic growth. It would be extremely useful if they were opened to scholars, a serious loss if they were destroyed.

Suggested Citation

  • Angus Maddison, 1998. "Measuring The Performance Of A Communist Command Economy: An Assessment Of The Cia Estimates For The U.S.S.R," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(3), pages 307-323, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:44:y:1998:i:3:p:307-323
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4991.1998.tb00284.x

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    Cited by:

    1. Filip Novokmet & Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "From Soviets to oligarchs: inequality and property in Russia 1905-2016," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(2), pages 189-223, June.
    2. Baten, Jörg & Keywood, Thomas, 2019. "Elite Violence and Elite Numeracy in Europe from 500 to 1900 CE: A Co-Evolution?," CEPR Discussion Papers 14013, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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