Output Trends: Prospects and Problems
This chapter aims to define the growth prospects for the Soviet economy through the mid-1980s by applying a combination of econometric techniques and analytical judgments to the resource environment which Soviet growth strategists face, and assesses the likely impact of some alternative policies that Soviet leaders might pursue. Efforts to increase the quality and quantity of output and make better use of available resources continue to be frustrated by a backward technological base, inflexible production processes, and a cumbersome and inefficient system of planning and management. If substantial increases in productivity are not forthcoming, the leadership will have to find other ways to augment the scheduled increases in employment or settle for very low rates of growth of output. Capital costs, especially in extractive industries, are rising more rapidly than output primarily due to the declining quality of readily available raw materials.