The Hopkins-Kennedy Optimal Control Model of the Soviet Economy

by Mark Myron Hopkins

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This paper discusses the Hopkins-Kennedy optimal control model of the Soviet economy, placing special emphasis on scenarios concerning weather, foreign trade, energy, alternative views of the basic nature of the Soviet economy, and technology. The model presents results as tradeoff curves between consumption and defense for projections initiated in 1980 and run to 1990. The model has 21 production sectors and three factors: labor, and two types of capital. The author finds that optimal control is an excellent tool for analyzing the Soviet economy, and that the largest impact on the results is caused by which of the alternative views (that of Rosefielde and Lee, Igor Birman, or the CIA) of the Soviet economy is assumed to be correct. Finally, for a given view of the Soviet economy, issues concerning the rate of total factor productivity growth are the most important, and research emphasis in this area should be increased.

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