Ruble Price Levels and Dollar-Ruble Ratios of Soviet Machinery in the 1960s.

by Abraham S. Becker


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Assesses evidence from Soviet sources on wholesale prices of Soviet machinery and recomputes the dollar parity of the Soviet machinery ruble. Official Soviet indexes show an almost monotonic decline of machinery and metalworking prices in the 1960s. However, the evidence strongly indicates that average level of machinery prices rose. The official index evidently ignores new products priced disproportionally high relative to standard counterparts. Machinery prices are estimated as 10 percent above the 1960 level in 1965 and 15 percent higher in 1970. Soviet sources report fragmentary information but indicate an average dollar parity for the machinery ruble below $2.00. Two U.S. estimates for 1955 are $2.85 and $2.31, and the author's computation is $2.53 or $2.64, depending on the weights. For 1955-1970 the adjusted dollar-ruble ratio is estimated in the range $2.25-$2.65. Criticism of ratios in this range are considered and refuted. The contradiction between Soviet and Western estimates remains unresolved. 66 pp. Ref.

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