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Old capital vs. new investment in post-soviet economies: Conceptual issues and estimates

Comparative Economic Studies. March 17, 2008

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The paper evaluates levels and trends in capital accumulation in countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) since the start of market reforms. Based on certain assumptions about the survival rate of the old Soviet era capital and perpetual inventory method to account for new investments, we estimate the amount of ‘market-quality’ capital accumulated in the CIS economies in the 1992–2005 period. Over the period of observation, in Russia the losses of the 1990s were largely restored while most other countries saw a decline in capital stock. Russia remains the highest capitalised CIS country with capital–labour ratio (K/L) of about $40,000 per worker. The lowest capitalised countries have K/L‘s from $10 to $13,000. Growth accounting using market-quality capital stock shows that the key factor of GDP changes was the dynamics of total factor productivity.