Whether soviet economy needs to be protected by the crafty figures?

TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 14 (no. 1),

The article addresses the discussion resumed by S. Dzarasov on the estimates for macroeconomic data on the Soviet economy dynamics. In particular, the estimates by CIA (USA), CSB (USSR) and author’s own calculations are compared. The statement made by S. Dzarasov concerning the CIA’s confirmation of the CSB data on the dynamics of the Soviet economy is criticized. Proximity of the author’s estimates to the CIA’s ones is shown, as well as the striking differences of those compared with the USSR’s CSB estimates. A comparison is made between various indicators, including those most comparable, with the exception of the services sector. The shortcomings of the CSB’s estimates of the dynamics of macroeconomic indicators and indices of production in separate industries of the Soviet economy are analyzed, showing extensive use of exaggerated cost data by the Soviet statistics, which involved a hidden growth of wholesale and retail prices. The author demonstrates that many defects of the Soviet statistics are retained, and sometimes even multiplied, by the Russian macroeconomic statistics. Shortcomings of the CIA’s methodology to estimate the USSR’s GDP growth are revealed, resulted in exaggeration of its dynamics. The article uncovers the reasons why the Education Commission of the US Congress was established to assess the CIA’s studies on the Soviet economy. The author’s estimates of the economic growth are shown as quite consistent with the USSR’s success during the Great Patriotic War and in 1950–1960s. In turn, S. Dzarasov’s arguments concerning American experts’ assessment reveal their inconsistency, and some of them have never engaged in the studies on the USSR’s macroeconomic statistics.

Keywords: economy of the USSR; distortion in Soviet official statistics; estimates for macroeconomic data the CIA; estimates for macroeconomic data by G.I. Khanin

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Publisher: Southern Federal University
Founder: Southern Federal University
ISSN: 2073-6606