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Towards A Re-Interpretation Of The Economics Of Feasible Socialism

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  • Dic Lo

    ()
    (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)

  • Russell Smyth

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Monash University, Austrilia)

Abstract

This paper re-examines the debate on whether socialism is feasible from the perspective of the literature on the division of labour and organisational forms. Our central argument is twofold. First, each of the major protagonists in the debate provide a partial explanation as to when market socialism, planned socialism and participatory socialism are feasible. Second, the different perspectives on when socialism is feasible can be reconciled through seeing the arguments in terms of specific techno-economic paradigms, which are underpinned by their own concepts of the division of labour and efficiency attributes. We will show that theories on the economics of socialism reflect different techno-economic paradigms and that when, and whether, the various views on socialism are appropriate depend on the prevailing external conditions, economic growth path and existing mode of institutional arrangement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK in its series Working Papers with number 119.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:119

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Web page: http://www.soas.ac.uk/economics/
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Keywords: Division of Labour; Organisational Forms; Socialism;

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  1. Pranab Bardhan & John E. Roemer, 1992. "Market Socialism: A Case for Rejuvenation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 101-116, Summer.
  2. Adaman, Fikret & Devine, Pat, 1996. "The Economic Calculation Debate: Lessons for Socialists," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(5), pages 523-37, September.
  3. Brusco, Sebastiano, 1982. "The Emilian Model: Productive Decentralisation and Social Integration," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 167-84, June.
  4. Bruce Caldwell, 1997. "Hayek and Socialism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1856-1890, December.
  5. Pranab Bardhan & John E. Roemer, 1994. "On the Workability of Market Socialism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 177-181, Spring.
  6. Israel M. Kirzner, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 60-85, March.
  7. Aoki, Masahiko, 1990. "Toward an Economic Model of the Japanese Firm," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 1-27, March.
  8. Bianchi, Marina, 1995. "Markets and firms Transaction costs versus strategic innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 183-202, October.
  9. Russell Smyth & Dic Lo, 2000. "Theories of the Firm and the Relationship between Different Perspectives on the Division of Labour," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 333-349.
  10. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
  11. Dietrich, Michael, 1986. "Organisational Requirements of a Socialist Economy: Theoretical and Practical Suggestions," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 319-32, December.
  12. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1994. "The Politics of Market Socialism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 165-176, Spring.
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