After the 'extensive' growth which the five Central Asian and three Caucasus economies of the USSR had experienced in the 1970s and the first part of the 1980s – that is expanding economic activity by increments to capital and to labour rather than by improving factor productivity (which was in five of the countries negative) – the eight states suffered adversely from the break-up of the Soviet Union. Measured GDP exaggerated that decline because the 'shadow economy', which had been relatively small in the Soviet period, greatly expanded everywhere during the 1990s. Recovery from that recession is examined both through the prism of total factor productivity and the influence of increased openness to trade and to the inflow of foreign investment.
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