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The Soviet Economic Decline Dataset

Non-Bank Author:William Easterly and Stanley Fisher
Web Address:Macroeconomics and Growth
Topics:Macroeconomic & Economic Growth
Report Number:WPS1284
Citation: 

Easterly, William and Stanley Fisher, "The Soviet Economic Decline: Historical and Republican Data" World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Number 1284, April 2001.  Also published in the World Bank Economic Review 9(3): 341-371, 1995.

Abstract of Paper
Soviet growth over 1960-89 was the worst in the world after we control for investment and 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 over 1950-87 can be accounted for by a declining marginal product of capital with a constant rate of TFP growth. The Soviet reliance on extensive growth (rising capital to output ratios) was no greater than that of market economies like Japan and Korea, but low elasticity of substitution between capital and labor implied especially acute diminishing returns to capital compared to market economies.

All data are annual. They are given both in MicroTSP DB file format and as Lotus files. The data set is divided into two directories: 

  1. "USSR", which contains specific variables for the 1928-1987 period. 
  2. "Republic", which contains specific variables over 1970-1990 period.
Access to Dataset
  • Dataset description (pdf file, 79kb)


  • Dataset (zipped self extracting format, 232kb)


  • Dataset (zipped file, 117kb)





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