Socialist economic growth and political investment cycles
AbstractSocialist economic growth in China and Eastern Europe has long been characterized by investment hunger, drives toward expansion, and cyclical fluctuation of investment rates. For decades, relatively high growth rates - often accompanied by a shortage of consumption goods - have typically been achieved at the consumers'expense. Treating social planners as self-interested bureaucrats, the author offers a positive model to help understand the norms of socialist economic growth. This model demonstrates: (a) how rapid capital accumulation tends to serve the social planners'own interests; (b) why investment hunger is an inevitable consequence of social planners'rational choices; and (c) when a drive toward expansion can cause a permanent shortage of consumption goods. Through numerical examples and empirical tests, the author provides a framework within which to analyze political investment cycles in a socialist economy. In China, he finds that high investment rates have often been linked to leftist political regimes and low or moderate investment rates with rightist political regimes.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 7 (1991)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544
Other versions of this item:
- Zou, Heng-fu, 1991. "Socialist economic growth and political investment cycles," Policy Research Working Paper Series 615, The World Bank.
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