By Mark Harrison
How did the Soviet Union examine economically with its allies and adversaries ahead of and through global conflict II? used to be Soviet fiscal survival below tremendous German assault to be anticipated? What was once the price of the warfare in rubles, lives and foregone postwar financial future health? during this booklet Mark Harrison solutions those questions, supplying a finished research of the hitherto mystery Soviet statistical checklist.
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Additional info for Accounting for War: Soviet Production, Employment, and the Defence Burden, 1940–1945
The lie is shown to be a lie because it conflicts with popular experience, which is also the criterion for acceptance of the truthful figure. This view was taken, for example, by the Hungarian economist Janos Kornai in his work on shortage economics: In many cases the conclusive 'evidence' supporting a proposition is provided by those who live in a socialist country. Do they recognise the situation described ... Does what is written coincide with what they experience day after day as consumers or producers, managers or employees, buyers or sellers?
The lie may serve the legitimacy of the government (for example, to support a claim that unemployment has fallen when, on a consistent definition, it has actually risen). The lie may also serve particular ends of policy (for example, by claiming that households are better able to bear a tax than they are in reality). This view of statistics was expressed in the well known observation of Benjamin Disraeli: there are 'lies, damned lies, and statistics'. Another source of popular distrust is that statistics based on large numbers of observations are an abstraction from lived personal experi- Introduction ence.
As stated above, net output is gross output, net of intermediate utilisation; but each may be gross or net of capital consumption. In this book, gross output is always gross of capital consumption, as well of intermediate purchases. Net output is sometimes gross, sometimes net of capital consumption. To avoid confusion I avoid the term 'net output' altogether and write 'value added' in its place; gross and net value added are both net output, respectively gross and net of capital consumption. Note on index number relativity Consider an index of the current, nominal value of GNP in 1937 expressed as a per centage of 1928 (we call 1928 the base year, and 1937 the current year, pt is the set of prices, and qt the set of quantities produced, in year t):1 Nominal GNP index = To find the change in real GNP in 1937 (the current year), compared with 1928 (the base year), this index must be divided ('deflated') by a price index.
Accounting for War: Soviet Production, Employment, and the Defence Burden, 1940–1945 by Mark Harrison