IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Tea Leaves and Productivity: Bergsonian Norms for Gauging the Soviet Future

Listed author(s):
  • Steven Rosefielde


    (Gardner Hall, CB#3305, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3305, USA.)

Registered author(s):

    Abram Bergson's attitudes toward the reliability of Soviet statistics and the feasibility of socialism took shape in two distinct phases. He convinced himself and the profession by 1953 that Soviet data were ‘usable’ and that socialism could conceivably outperform capitalism. However, he reversed field a decade later on the issue of merit concluding that while the USSR would survive, negative factor productivity growth made it inherently inferior. Both predictions proved problematic. Negative factor productivity growth was never confirmed by Goskomstat's figures. The numbers had to be adjusted for ‘hidden inflaion’ to get this result, but these ‘corrections’ compromised the claim that Soviet statistics were ‘reliable’. Likewise, the Soviet Union's demise casts a cloud over the ‘usability’ both of official and adjusted statistics. There is nothing in these series that explains Mikhail Gorbachev's and Boris Yeltsin's haste in scuttling Command Communism. Comparative Economic Studies (2005) 47, 259–273. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ces.8100108

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text HTML
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan & Association for Comparative Economic Studies in its journal Comparative Economic Studies.

    Volume (Year): 47 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 259-273

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:pal:compes:v:47:y:2005:i:2:p:259-273
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:compes:v:47:y:2005:i:2:p:259-273. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

    or (Rebekah McClure)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.