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The Grand Experiment of Communism: Discovering the Trade-off between Equality and Efficiency

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  • Etienne Farvaque

    ()

  • Alexander Mihailov

    ()

  • Alireza Naghavi

    ()

Abstract

This paper aims to explain the rise and fall of communism by exploring the interplay between economic incentives and social preferences in different economic systems. We introduce inequality-averse and ine¢ ciency-averse agents responding to economic incentives and transmitting their ideology as they are a¤ected by evolving outcomes. We analyze their conflict through the interaction between leaders with economic power and followers with ideological determination. The socioeconomic dynamics of our model generate a pendulum-like switch from markets to a centrally-planned economy abolishing private ownership, and back to restoring market incentives. The grand experiment of communism is thus characterized to have led to the discovery of a trade-off between equality and efficiency at the scale of alternative economic systems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics in its series Center for Economic Research (RECent) with number 066.

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Length: pages 25
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mod:recent:066

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Web page: http://www.recent.unimore.it/
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Keywords: capitalism; communism; inequality; inefficiency; ideological transmission; economic transitions;

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Cited by:
  1. Davide Ticchi & Thierry Verdier & Andrea Vindigni, 2013. "Democracy, Dictatorship and the Cultural Transmission of Political Values," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 300, Collegio Carlo Alberto.

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