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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 5 No. 4 (Fall 1991)

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The Classical Soviet-Type Economy: Nature of the System and Implications for Reform

Article Citation

Ericson, Richard E. 1991. "The Classical Soviet-Type Economy: Nature of the System and Implications for Reform." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5(4): 11-27.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.5.4.11

Abstract

Below I will outline the traditional Soviet economic system, developing its logic of institutions and interactions, and pointing out their natural economic consequences. This will lead me to a list of defining characteristics of that system, characteristics that are mutually dependent and supporting and hence must be changed more or less simultaneously if effective reform is to take place. One implication is that step-by-step measures are likely to fail. Instead, complete replacement of the economic system, as apparently intended by many East European reformers, seems necessary for a market-based system to begin functioning. This will be a truly monumental task and nowhere more so than in the Soviet Union.

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Authors

Ericson, Richard E. (Columbia U)

JEL Classifications

P21: Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies: Planning, Coordination, and Reform

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