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The Soviet Economic Decline

  • Easterly, William
  • Fischer, Stanley

Soviet growth from 1960 to 1989 was the worst in the world after we control for investment and human capital; the relative performance worsens over time. There is some evidence that the burden of defense spending modestly contributed to the Soviet debacle. The declining Soviet growth rate from 1950 to 1987 can be accounted for by a declining marginal product of capital with a constant rate of growth of total factor productivity. The Soviet reliance on extensive growth (rising capital-to-output ratios) was no greater than that of market economies, such as Japan and the Republic of Korea, but a low elasticity of substitution between capital and labor implied especially acute diminishing returns to capital compared with the case in market economies. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 9 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 341-71

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:9:y:1995:i:3:p:341-71
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