Did the USSR reach 80% of US industrial labour productivity in 1937?

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
Red-Right
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Did the USSR reach 80% of US industrial labour productivity in 1937?

Post by Red-Right » 20 Jul 2022 18:00

According to some Soviet statistics (https://istmat.org/files/uploads/22518/ ... _truda.pdf) the labour productivity in the Soviet industry reached in 1937 103% of the level of England and 97% of Germany. For USA it was 80%*
* The figure given was 41%. However, that implies English and German productivity in industry was only about 40% of US levels what is impossible given the real GDP per capita(according to Maddison) was 73% and 97% respectively. The conclusion is that the USSR achieved roughly 80% of US labour productivity in industry. Here I present calculations that are probably no worse than any other.
Coefficient that adjusts for new goods implemented in the transformation: 536,9/370=1,451
Growth of productivity for years 1928 – 1937 as in basic source: 249,9
Adjusted growth: 249,9/1,451=172,22
1928 productivity according to University of Groningen: 47%
1937 productivity: 1,7222*47=80,9=81%
The 80% productivity due to the fact that a smaller percentage was employed in industry in the Soviet Union relatively to the USA means that per capita output of industry was 50%. This number is confirmed in another source that I can’t find right now.
Also the figure of 50% needs revision due to income inequality and other hidden factors.

Red-Right
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Joined: 25 Jun 2022 17:27
Location: Poland

Re: Did the USSR reach 80% of US industrial labour productivity in 1937?

Post by Red-Right » 02 Sep 2022 11:55

Yet another method of calculating the productivity of the USSR / US in industry.

Industry Productivity USA / England in 1937 1.9 (Broadberry)

Methodological amendment 1.2 (Rostas / Arbdt)

Productivity USA / England in 1937 1.59

Productivity USSR / England 1.02 (Gosplan)

Productivity US / USSR in 1937 1.55 thus USSR 65% of the US level.

The increase in productivity of the USSR in 1937-1939 15%.

Thus, the productivity (Y / L) of the USSR industry is 74.75% of the US. This accounts for 60% of the production. It mainly contains the "big three": oil, coal, steel. Meanwhile, the unweighted average for other raw materials is 13 times higher than in the US. Energy consumption was at the US level in 1915. It indicates, although this does not mean the production value of 70% of the US level and labor productivity of 112%

It is enough that the remaining 40% of industrial production is 88% of the US level (i.e. only 17% more than the first) for the whole to reach 80% efficiency and 50% of the production value. I also found this value in other statistics that I cannot find now.

To this great achievement, it should be added that using the Complete GDP method, 147% of the US in 1939 is reached.

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