Can Neoclassical Economics Underpin the Reform of Centrally Planned Economies?
This paper addresses whether neoclassical economics can provide the intellectual underpinning for a theory of reform. I examine whether the neoclassical model satisfies an essential condition to qualify for this role: does it give us a satisfactory explanation for the vast differences in performance between capitalist and socialist economic systems? First, I focus on the theoretical arguments that have traditionally been used to examine the comparative properties of central planning and markets. I show that developments within theory over the last 20 years have substantially changed the tone of these arguments, making their message more equivocal. Next I discuss empirical evidence, but of a particular sort. Much research shows that centrally planned economies perform less well than market economies; but few studies test whether the superiority of market economies appears within empirical models derived using the framework of basic neoclassical economics. Those studies are the relevant ones for the present exercise. The central conclusion is that economists must look outside the standard models of competition, the focus on Pareto-efficient resource allocation, and the welfare theorems to build a theory of reform.
Volume (Year): 5 (1991)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Novshek, William & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1987.
"General Equilibrium with Free Entry: A Synthetic Approach to the Theory of Perfect Competition,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 1281-1306, September.
- Novshek, William & Sonnenschein, Hugo., 1983. "General Equilibrium with Free Entry: A Synthetic Approach to the Theory of Perfect Competition," Working Papers 497, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Padma Desai & Ricardo Martin, 1983. "Efficiency Loss from Resource Misallocation in Soviet Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 441-456.
- Whitesell, R. & Barreto, H., 1988.
"Estimation Of Output Loss From Allocative Inefficiency: Comparison Of The Soviet Union And The U.S,"
Center for Development Economics
109, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Barreto, Humberto & Whitesell, Robert S, 1992. "Estimation of Output Loss from Allocative Inefficiency: A Comparison of the Soviet Union and the U.S," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 219-36.
- Kumbhakar, Subal C, 1987. "Production Frontiers and Panel Data: An Application to U.S. Class 1 Railroads," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(2), pages 249-55, April.
- Whalley, John, 1976. "Thornton's Estimates of Efficiency Losses in Soviet Industry: Some Fixed-Point-Method Recalculations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(1), pages 153-59, February.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "The Causes and Consequences of the Dependence of Quality on Price," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-48, March.
- Richard R. Nelson, 1981. "Assessing Private Enterprise: An Exegesis of Tangled Doctrine," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 93-111, Spring.
- Partha Dasgupta & Peter Hammond & Eric Maskin, 1979. "The Implementation of Social Choice Rules: Some General Results on Incentive Compatibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(2), pages 185-216.
- Kornai, Janos, 1990. "The Affinity between Ownership Forms and Coordination Mechanisms: The Common Experience of Reform in Socialist Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 131-47, Summer.
- Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. "Committees, Hierarchies and Polyarchies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 451-70, June.
- Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C, 1984. "Production Frontiers and Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 367-74, October.
- Michael Rothschild & Joseph Stiglitz, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 629-649.
- Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
- Thornton, Judith, 1971. "Differential Capital Charges and Resource Allocation in Soviet Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 545-61, May-June.
- Theodore Groves, 1979. "Efficient Collective Choice when Compensation is Possible," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(2), pages 227-241.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:5:y:1991:i:4:p:59-76. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.