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The rise and decline of the Soviet economy


  • Robert C. Allen


The reasons for the rapid growth of the Soviet Union before roughly 1970 and for its subsequent growth slowdown are analysed. The concentration of investment on heavy industry and soft budget constraints explain most of the growth in the 1930s. The growth slowdown was due to disastrous investment decisions following the elimination of surplus labour and the diversion of research and development resources to the military rather than the failure of firms to carry out plans or diminishing returns to capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert C. Allen, 2001. "The rise and decline of the Soviet economy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 859-881, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:34:y:2001:i:4:p:859-881

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 2010. "Reassessing the Standard of Living in the Soviet Union: An Analysis Using Archival and Anthropometric Data," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(01), pages 83-117, March.
    2. Perekhozhuk, Oleksandr, 2007. "Marktstruktur und Preisbildung auf dem ukrainischen Markt für Rohmilch
      [Market structure and pricing on the Ukrainian market for raw milk]
      ," MPRA Paper 21958, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Perekhozhuk, Oleksandr, 2007. "Marktstruktur und Preisbildung auf dem ukrainischen Markt für Rohmilch," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 41, number 92322.

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