In a recent article Steven Rosefielde (2003) has advanced three propositions. He suggests that according to the best available statistics the post-war growth of the Russian economy under the command system was surprisingly good; in fact, he argues that it was too good. The standard for this judgement is economic theory, which holds that non-market systems must fail by comparison with market economies; Rosefielde associates specifically this view with the 'Washington consensus'. He concludes that it is the statistics that are at fault: they 'lied and were misconstrued' by Western 'statistically oriented comparativists' in a way that was unduly favourable to the command system. \ud \ud In this comment I argue that Rosefielde has misread both the facts and the theory. There is no riddle in the statistics. His conclusion, therefore, must fall
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