Measuring the performance of a communist command economy: An assessment of the CIA estimates for the USSR

A Maddison*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    31 Citations (Scopus)


    There are major methodological and practical problems in comparing the performance of capitalist and communist economies. They have been most carefully analysed for the former Soviet Union, for which there was a huge research input, mainly by the CIA. The CIA effort had considerable merit, particularly in assessing Soviet rates of growth. Unfortunately, it was terminated in 1991, partly because it suffered from unduly harsh criticism, partly because its political relevance waned. However, the CIA archives remain an important source for the study of comparative economic growth. It would be extremely useful if they were opened to scholars, a serious loss if they were destroyed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)307-323
    Number of pages17
    JournalReview of Income and Wealth
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep-1998


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