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


  • Richard E. Ericson


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard E. Ericson, 1991. "The Classical Soviet-Type Economy: Nature of the System and Implications for Reform," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 11-27, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:5:y:1991:i:4:p:11-27
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.5.4.11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Powell, Raymond P., 1977. "Plan execution and the workability of soviet planning," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 51-76, March.
    2. Roland, Gerard, 1990. "Complexity, bounded rationality, and equilibrium: The soviet-type case," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 401-424, September.
    3. George Garvy, 1977. "Money, Financial Flows, and Credit in the Soviet Union," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number garv77-1, July.
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    JEL classification:

    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform


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