The Commonwealth of Independent States in the World Environment
The article focuses on peculiarities of present-day positions of CIS countries and Georgia in the geoeconomic pattern of the world. An explanation for causes of some significant differences between results of international economic comparisons (including the latest ones) is given. Data which characterize multivariant estimates of the levels of economic development of various countries are provided. Particular attention is drawn to the values of per capita GDP of Russia, Central Asian and South Caucasian states, provided by such international organizations as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Center for International Comparisons at the University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The authors emphasize the fact the differences between the estimates of per capita GDP (and, consequently, between the levels of economic development) of some countries reach 30−50−70%, and in some cases even two or more times. Based on the totals of international comparisons, the authors show how the balance between economic development of Russia and the United States (as well as between Russia and the world’s per capita GDP average) changed from the beginning of XX century to early 2000's.
Problems of International Economic Comparisons: China, Russia and other Countries within the geoeconomic Pattern of the World
The paper focuses on multivariate and controversial estimates of economic size and development level of China in the late 20th — early 21st centuries. The correlations of the economic potentials of China, Russia and the United States at the beginning of the 20th and early 21st centuries are considered. The reliability of International comparison program 2005 results for defining the countries' positions in the geoeconomic structure of the modern world is discussed. In conclusion, authors attempt to summarize the economic development of the «rich» and «poor» regions of the Earth over the past 2,000 years.
Problems of International Economic Comparisons: on Some Controversial Issues and Estimates
The paper highlights the problem of multi-variance of estimates of gross domestic product (GDP). GDP is the basic indicator of the size of the economy, the level of development and country’s position in the geoeconomic structure of the modern world. GDP data (derived from purchasing power parities of national currencies) for European, Asian, African and American countries sometimes differ by tens of percent or even several times. In the paper is given the description of the International Comparison Program (ICP) that is the main source of the PPP data. Particular attention is paid to ICP 2005 results that caused serious controversy among experts in the field of international comparisons.
Central Asia and Caucasus in the Global Economic Spaсe
The author examines positions of Central Asian and South Caucasus countries as well as states adjacent to these countries occupy in the world. The author supports his interpretation with analysis of the latest data on absolute and relative (in per capita terms) GDP calculated on the basis of purchasing power of currencies. The adduced materials give evidence of the fact that in circumstances of independent development and reconstructive economic growth, under impact of deep economic crisis these countries did not converge. On the contrary, they increasingly came off within global social and economic space. A particular attention is paid to social consequences of economic dynamics including main characteristics of majority of these countries' populations. For this purpose per capita consumption indicators are examined (per capita consumption of the most qualitative foodstuffs, i.e. meets, fish, milk, eggs and sugar) as well as indicators of population provision with durable goods. Situation in the sphere of popular education is examined primarily on the basis of data on development of higher education. The similar examination of public health is done on basis of data on dynamics of infant mortality, aggregate per capita expenses on medical services and comparison on these data with cumulative economic characteristics.
China, Russia and the USA: Different Calculations Bring about Different Results (the end)
In the second part of the article the author tallies up results of multiple-path analysis of China’s economic development in the 20th century. In fact, ratio of per capita GDP in China and the USA by the end of the century remained what it was in the beginning of the century. All six-to-sevenfold growth of the indicator in China occurred during the last 30 years. The author examines economic dynamics of the Russian empire in the long-term historical hindsight (from the 18th to the early 20th century). Original calculations and estimates add a greater precision to our views of rates of development and scales of Russia’s economic growth in 1883−1913. Even in these best years of «Russia we lost» the absolute and even relative gap between values of per capita GDP in Russia and the USA did not decrease but kept to increase. Similar calculations made for the present day reality attest the end of recovery economic growth in Russia which undergoes reforms. By the end of 2006, i.e. 17 years after beginning of economic downturn in the USSR and the profound crisis of transition period value of per capita GDP in Russia again attained the maximum Soviet level of goods and services output.
China, Russia and the USA. Different Calculations Bring about Different Results
The article reflects main trends and results of the economic development in China, USA and Russia over the 20th century as well as over a longer hindsight. Doing that the author repeatedly emphasizes the objective inevitability and need to carry out multivariant calculations of any macroeconomic characteristics when levels of economic development of various countries with drastic differences of per capita GDP are compared. The particular attention is paid to the critical analysis of wrong calculations and assessments made by the World Bank experts who compiled the summarizing report on development of 42 countries over the 20th century. In contrast with conclusions of these experts (according to them the Russian and American per capita GDP ratio at the end of the 20th century allegedly fell twofold while the ratio of the same measure for China and USA presumably rose by more that 150%) the author demonstrates that from the beginning of the 20th century down to the beginning of the 21st century both these characteristics did not undergo any significant change. Both in 1913 and in 2005 per capita GDP in China comprised about 15% of per capita GDP in USA while per capita GDP in Russia was equal to about 25−27% of the American per capita GDP. The author also improves accuracy of data on rates of economic growth in Russia in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries.
Russia in the global context. On multivariance of international economic comparisons
The author undertakes to answer questions that are concerns of researchers, political writers and ordinary Russian citizens: How does the image of Russia change in the mirror of national and international statistics? What place does Russia occupy in the global economic space now, at the beginning of the 21st century and what place did Russia occupy at the beginning of 20th century? What was the real development of Russia which we have lost? How did balance of economic development levels of Russian empire, the USSR and the USA change in the past 90−100 years? The author adduces calculations and estimates that allow him to conclude that both in 1913 and in 2003−2004 per capita GDP in Russia was and is about one fourth of per capita GDP in the US. At the same time the author offers one more conclusion which may be a surprise for many people: in early 20th century as well as at the beginning of the 21st century per capita income in China was and is about 1−12% of per capita income in the US. However during the same period per capita GDP in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and India compared to per capita GDP of the US deteriorated considerably. To put it differently, in the course of the past 90−100 years these countries were lagging more and more behind the US. All these and some other, sometimes unexpected conclusions and estimates are based upon thoroughly analyzed statistical records and interstate comparisons.
On Multivariance of International Economic Comparisons (the end)
In the second part of his article the author analyzes not just relationship of development levels of Russia, the US and other countries of West and East but also compares the absolute economic potentials of these countries (i.e., economic dimensions, economic power etc.) and other basic characteristics: area of their territories and populations. In result it becomes apparent that by beginning of the 21st century geo-economic position of Russia deteriorated considerably in comparison of what it used to be in the beginning of the 20th century. In 1913 GDP of Russian empire amounted to no less than 40−45% of the US economic potential and was, largely, in line with the similar indices of Great Britain and Germany; Russia’s economic power was nearly threefold greater than that of Japan. By 2003−2004 relationship of economic forces among these countries changed drastically: now the total GDP of Russia does not exceed 12−14% of the US GDP and is roughly equal to GDP of France and Italy in the best case. At the same time Russia’s GDP is one and a half time lesser than that of Germany and two and a half times lesser that that of Japan. It is expedient to take into account realities of the contemporary world and position Russia occupies within this world in setting of Russia’s domestic and foreign policies designed for the medium-term future. The hour has struck when it is necessary to abandon former messianic aspirations and to ensure favorable external conditions for accelerated economic development of the country.
The Condition of Population in the Central Asian Countries
The article deals with two principal problems: the first problem is dynamics of population growth and changes of ethnic-national structure of Central Asian countries and the second problem is the population’s general standards and conditions of living. Proceeding from massive statistical data including those provided by general censuses the author discovers the picture of drastic decrease of numbers and specific weight of the Slavic (European) population and increase of the so-called title (i. e., indigenous) population. Study of birth rates and fertility allows making a conclusion that all Central Asian countries will experience a further decrease of population growth in the nearest future. The real wages of workers and employees shrank two-fourfold during the deep economic crisis (in Tajikistan the decrease was even more pronounced). Thus now real wages and salaries do not exceed several dozens of dollars. It should be noted that in the course of the whole period of restoration, i. e., in the second half of 1990s real wages still remained to be 20−40% less (in Tajikistan they were two thirds less) than the pre-crisis maximum levels. Results of households' consumption studies and studies of retail trade turnover’s movements are presented. In general these results are similar to changes of real wages. The author considers dwelling conditions and the main components of the social infrastructure, the public health and education. Conditions of these components in general reflected dynamics of other standards of living though manifested a greater margin of safety. However the quality of education and medical care obviously deteriorated.
The Structural Shifts in Economies of the Central Asia Countries
The author investigates the profound social and economic shifts that have occurred in the Central Asian countries 1990s, i.e., in the course of transition from the centrally planned economy to the market economy. The author notes a partial agrarization, de-industralization and de-urbanization, the drastic curtailment of investment process, the relative and even absolute decrease of educational, medical, scientific and technological potentials of these countries. All these trends are evidence of the increasing predominance of traditionalization and sometimes even primitivization and archaization of the Central Asian countries' economies and social structures. At the same time these trends co-existed with development of structures and institutions of the new, modern market nature. Such co-existence could be only contradictory, for new structures and institutions are typical for societies that undergo modernization, for small and big social groups as well as for individuals. As the Central Asian countries are gradually integrating into the world economic relations system dynamics and content of which are determined by the developed countries the modernization elements are becoming more active. As a result of that all aspects of the everyday life of people who live in Central Asia, whether they live in the countryside or are city dwellers, are characterized by exceptionally difficult interaction, co-existence and «struggle» of utterly contradictory trends: the traditional v. the modern, the chaotic v. the disciplining, the regressive v. the progressive. In the future transition to the accelerated economic growth along the lines of the «catching-up» development will inevitably and quite soon require a comprehensive support of public education and health systems, preservation and development of the real scientific potential and, finally, a reasonable policy of industrialization and services development which will help to increase performance of all branches of national economies.