That is the new Anders Aslund book, and it is instructive throughout. Here are a few things I learned:
1. 80 percent of Ukrainian youth receive higher education of some kind.
2. Ukraine has the world’s highest rate of pension expenditures as a share of gdp, at about 18 percent, circa 2010. Most of that is old age pensions, and that is for a population with a relatively short lifespan, 68.5 years, 122th in the world according to UNDP.
3. At the time of publication, Ukraine’s public expenditures stood at 53 percent of gdp.
4. “Ukraine is running out of money…” OK, that one I already knew.
5. “No economy has fared as poorly in peacetime as Ukraine did from 1989 to 1999. For a decade, Ukrainian GDP plummeted by a total of 61 percent, according to official statistics.” Some of this, however, was offset by the growth of black markets.
6. Crimea is no longer included in Ukraine’s formal measure of gdp, although Donbas is still included.