When and why did eastern European economies begin to fail? Lessons from a Czechoslovak/UK productivity comparison, 1921-1991
Czechoslovak industrial labour productivity fluctuated around two-thirds of the UK level under the private sector regime between the wars. Under the central planning regime of the postwar period, Czechoslovakia's comparative productivity position initially improved to around three-quarters of the UK level by the early-1960s, before falling back. During the 1980s, the deterioration of Czechoslovakia's productivity performance accelerated sharply, falling to around one-third of the UK level. Central planning was able to achieve a satisfactory productivity performance during the era of mass production, but could not adapt to the requirements of flexible production technology during the 1980s.
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