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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 4 No. 2 (Spring 1990)


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Socialist Economics: The Disequilibrium School and the Shortage Economy

Article Citation

van Brabant, Jozef M. 1990. "Socialist Economics: The Disequilibrium School and the Shortage Economy." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 4(2): 157-175.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.4.2.157


This article focuses on the debate between Richard Portes and Janos Kornai as the respective exponents of two interpretations of economic behavior in centrally planned economies: the disequilibrium school, and the theory of the shortage economy. My objective here is to elucidate for the nonspecialist the core features of the debate between the disequilibrium school and the shortage economy. Toward the end, I describe what might usefully be retained from this debate by economists who do not specialize in the study of centrally planned economies.

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van Brabant, Jozef M. (UN Secretariat)

JEL Classifications

052: Socialist and Communist Economic Systems
027: Economics of Centrally Planned Economies--General


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