Soviet Industrial Production, 1928 to 1955: Real Growth and Hidden Inflation

Posted: 22 Jun 2000

See all articles by Mark Harrison

Mark Harrison

University of Warwick; University of Birmingham


The mechanism of hidden inflation in Soviet industrial growth statistics between 1928 and 1950 is described. Hidden inflation arose when new products were substituted for old ones. Substitution biases in Soviet and Western growth estimates are compared; the extent of hidden inflation in the Soviet figures is estimated. The view that all Soviet growth series were exaggerated is qualified; the presumption that the lower a figure, the more reliable it must be is overturned. The Moorsteen paradox, hidden inflation in industry as a whole, but none in machine building where product innovation was most rapid, is explained.

JEL Classification: N60

Suggested Citation

Harrison, Mark, Soviet Industrial Production, 1928 to 1955: Real Growth and Hidden Inflation. Journal of Comparative Economics, Vol. 28, Issue 1, pp. 134-155, March 2000. Available at SSRN:

Mark Harrison (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Department of Economics
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom


University of Birmingham ( email )

Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

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