TRENDS IN SOVIET INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTIVITY,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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Russian statistics indicate an annual rate of growth compounded of productivity, for manufacturing and mining, of 10.3 per cent from 1928 to 1940. Other data indicate, however, that this figure would be much smaller if computed in accordance with conventional American techniques. Very substantial productivity gains were achieved under the prewar Five Year Plans, with heavy industry leading the way and the consumer goods industries lagging far behind. On the basis of comparisons of physical output per wage earner for a series of industries, for years immediately preceding World War II, it was concluded that, very roughly, Russian industry in 1939 stood at 40 per cent of the American labor productivity level. There was wide variation among industries. The Russians claim that their average rate of productivity growth from 1946 to 1950 was 13.25 per cent, and that by 1950, average industrial labor productivity exceeded the 1940 level by 37 per cent. A gain on the order of from 5 to 10 per cent over 1940 would appear to be more realistic.