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The Soviet Economic Decline

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  • Easterly, William
  • Fischer, Stanley

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 1995. "The Soviet Economic Decline," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(3), pages 341-371, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:9:y:1995:i:3:p:341-71
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-620, September.
    2. Yaron, Jacob, 1994. "What Makes Rural Finance Institutions Successful?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(1), pages 49-70, January.
    3. Hashemi, Syed M. & Schuler, Sidney Ruth & Riley, Ann P., 1996. "Rural credit programs and women's empowerment in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 635-653, April.
    4. Hossain, Mahabub, 1988. "Credit for alleviation of rural poverty: the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh," Research reports 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Adams, Dale W & Von Pischke, J. D., 1992. "Microenterprise credit programs: Deja vu," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1463-1470, October.
    6. Coleman, Brett E., 1999. "The impact of group lending in Northeast Thailand," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 105-141, October.
    7. Ravallion, Martin & Sen, Binayak, 1994. "When method matters : toward a resolution of the debate about Bangladesh's poverty measures," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1359, The World Bank.
    8. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
    9. Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "The role of subsidies in microfinance: evidence from the Grameen Bank," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 229-248, October.
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