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Is the Welfare State A Model For Transition?


  • Leube Kurt R.

    (Stanford University & International Center for Economic)


Despite the fact that today only very few still regard the old socialist ideas with nationalization ofenterprises and central planning as a way to promote more efficient production, greater equality, or a more just distribution of income some of its conceptions nevertheless seem to have penetrated into the minds of a majority of socialist scientists. There still is this deeply rooted constructivist belief that every social and economic problem can be solved by social engineering, social planning, or by just throwing government money at it. Although not openly advocating economic planning, it is widely believed that social legislation or social politics sold in a more subtle way can be used to achieve an already predetermined end: social justice. Most of these attempts, however seem to be little more than a repetition of the old planning idea dressed in emotionally more appealing clothes.Bien que peu nombreux soient ceux qui considèrent encore aujourdhui les anciennes idées socialistes de nationalisation des entreprises et de planification centrale comme la voie menant à une production plus efficace, à plus dégalité et à une distribution plus juste des revenus, certaines de ces conceptions semblent cependant sêtre ancrées dans lesprit de la majorité des scientifiques socialistes. Le sentiment constructiviste suivant lequel tout problème social ou économique peut être résolu à travers lingénierie social, la planification centrale ou des dépenses supplémentaires de lEtat demeure profondément enraciné. Même si leur obédience aux idées centralisatrices nest pas ouvertement évoquée, la croyance est largement partagée quune législation sociale ou des politiques sociales mises en avant de manière plus subtile peuvent être employées pour atteindre un objectif déterminé à lavance : la justice sociale. Cependant, la plupart de ces politiques ne semblent être rien dautre que la réitération de lancienne illusion de planification centrale simplement revêtue dune dimension émotionnelle plus attrayante.

Suggested Citation

  • Leube Kurt R., 2001. "Is the Welfare State A Model For Transition?," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-13, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:11:y:2001:i:1:n:6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stanley Fischer & Ratna Sahay, 2000. "The Transition Economies After Ten Years," IMF Working Papers 00/30, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Victor Nee, 2000. "The Role of the State in Making a Market Economy," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(1), pages 1-64, March.
    3. Jones Charles I., 2001. "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-45, August.
    4. Stanley Fischer & Ratna Sahay, 2000. "The Transition Economies After Ten Years," NBER Working Papers 7664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Zuliu F. Hu & Mohsin S. Khan, 1997. "Why Is China Growing So Fast?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 103-131, March.
    6. Kenneth J. Arrow, 2000. "Economic Transition: Speed and Scope," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(1), pages 1-9, March.
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