Gross Social Product

Gross Social Product

 

the value of material wealth created by society during a definite period (for example, a year). It is the result of social material production. Its size characterizes the level of economic development of a society. It is one of the most important indexes of social production.

Under the conditions of capitalist society the gross social product, like the national income, has an antagonistic class character, since it is a physical expression of capitalist productive relations.

Socialist society, in which social ownership of the means of production prevails, is able to produce and distribute the gross social product in accordance with the volume and structure of social needs on the basis of a unified national economic plan. Under socialism, the production of the gross social product proceeds at a rapid rate. Thus, from 1928 to 1940, the size of the gross social product increased by a factor of 4.5 in the USSR, and from 1940 to 1969, by a factor of 7.5; in the USA, the gross social product doubled between 1950 and 1968.

The main factors in the increase of the gross social product are the growth of productivity of social labor on the basis of the introduction of new techniques and the increase in the number of workers employed in material production. Where reproduction is intensive in nature, the gross social product is increased essentially through the growth of the productivity of labor. In the context of socialism, the natural development of reproduction of the gross social product is such that in the sector structure of the gross social product the role of the industrial sectors—most of all, industry itself—increases. Thus, from 1958 to 1969 the share of these sectors (industry, construction, transportation, communications) in the value of the gross social product of the USSR increased from 72.9 percent to 79.1 percent.

The reproduction of the gross social product is realized in the unity of its natural-material and value forms. In its natural-material form, the gross social product consists of the means of production and the articles of consumption; all social production consists respectively in the production of the means of production (subdivision I of social production) and the production of the articles of consumption (subdivision II of social production). Net investment of gross social product is achieved under conditions of the priority growth of production of the means of production; however, with the development of productive forces and the acceleration of technical progress, the rate of growth of production of the means of production and the rate of growth of production of consumption items are approaching each other. Thus, in 1968 production of the means of production accounted for about 74 percent of the total gross production of industry of the USSR, while production of the articles for consumption accounted for over 26 percent.

In terms of value, the gross social product includes the transferred value of the means of production and newly created value. The former portion is made up of the amortization fund in the gross social product; the latter is made up of the national income, which includes the consumption fund and the savings fund. In 1968 the share of the amortization fund in the gross social product amounted to about 55.6 percent. The amortization fund of the gross social product consists of two parts: the cost of reimbursing the fixed production funds, which in the process of production transfer their value to the product only partially, to the extent of their depletion (amortization); and the cost of reimbursing the operating production funds, which transfer their value entirely to the product of labor. Thus, if the value of fixed funds is predominant in the value of the production funds, the greatest part of the total value of the means of production transferred to the product is that of the operating funds.

In statistical practice, the basic method of determining the gross product is the so-called factory method, by which the size of the gross social product is defined as the sum of the gross production of individual enterprises of the sectors of material production, with the inclusion of the value of the product turnover among enterprises. This method of calculating the gross social product makes it possible to reflect the ratio between the production of the means of production and the production of the articles of consumption, between the gross and net product, and so on.

E. P. GORBUNOV

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