IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/mhr/jinste/urnsici0932-4569(201812)1744_707tgeocd_2.0.tx_2-q.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • Etienne Farvaque
  • Alexander Mihailov
  • Alireza Naghavi

Abstract

This paper examines how the interplay between economic incentives and social preferences transmitted by ideology plays a role in the rise and fall of communism. We introduce inequality-averse and inefficiency-averse agents and model their conflict in ideology, triggered by envy. The socioeconomic dynamics 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 as leading to the discovery of a trade-off between equality and efficiency. The model also derives conditions under which the two systems converge and become stable.

Suggested Citation

  • Etienne Farvaque & Alexander Mihailov & Alireza Naghavi, 2018. "The Grand Experiment of Communism: Discovering the Trade-Off between Equality and Efficiency," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 174(4), pages 707-742, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201812)174:4_707:tgeocd_2.0.tx_2-q
    DOI: 10.1628/jite-2018-0003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.mohrsiebeck.com/en/article/the-grand-experiment-of-communism-discovering-the-tradeoff-between-equality-and-efficiency-101628jite-2018-0003
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access is included for subscribers to the printed version.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wu, Harry X., 2001. "China's comparative labour productivity performance in manufacturing, 1952-1997: Catching up or falling behind?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 162-189.
    2. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    3. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," Post-Print halshs-00754788, HAL.
    4. Harrison, Mark, 1985. "Investment Mobilization and Capacity Completion in the Chinese and Soviet Economies," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 56-75.
    5. Klasing, Mariko J., 2014. "Cultural change, risk-taking behavior and implications for economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 158-169.
    6. Harrison, Mark, 1998. "Trends in Soviet labour productivity, 1928–85: War, postwar recovery, and slowdown," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 171-200, August.
    7. Lawrence J. Lau & Yingyi Qian & Gerard Roland, 2000. "Reform without Losers: An Interpretation of China's Dual-Track Approach to Transition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(1), pages 120-143, February.
    8. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg, 2006. "Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms, and Social Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1473-1503.
    9. Alberto Alesina & Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, 2007. "Goodbye Lenin (or Not?): The Effect of Communism on People," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1507-1528, September.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    11. Claustre Bajona & Luis Locay, 2009. "Entrepreneurship and Productivity: The Slow Growth of the Planned Economies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 505-522, July.
    12. repec:hhs:iuiwop:557 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2016. "Social networks and parental behavior in the intergenerational transmission of religion," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(3), pages 969-995, November.
    14. Christopher J. Ellis & John Fender, 2011. "Information Cascades and Revolutionary Regime Transitions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 763-792, June.
    15. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Das Human-Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 85-117.
    16. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Institutions as cognitive media between strategic interactions and individual beliefs," Chapters, in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 17, pages 298-312, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2008. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 747-793.
    18. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, June.
    19. Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change," Introductory Chapters, in: Understanding the Process of Economic Change, Princeton University Press.
    20. Olcina, Gonzalo & Penarrubia, Concepcion, 2004. "Hold up and intergenerational transmission of preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 111-132, May.
    21. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    22. Wei Li & Dennis Tao Yang, 2005. "The Great Leap Forward: Anatomy of a Central Planning Disaster," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 840-877, August.
    23. Roemer, John E, 1985. "Rationalizing Revolutionary Ideology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 85-108, January.
    24. Abram Bergson, 1991. "The USSR before the Fall: How Poor and Why," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 29-44, Fall.
    25. Broadberry, Stephen & Klein, Alexander, 2011. "When and why did eastern European economies begin to fail? Lessons from a Czechoslovak/UK productivity comparison, 1921-1991," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-52, January.
    26. Bergson, A., 1991. "The Ussr Before The Fall: How Poor And Why," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1540, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    27. Roemer, John E, 1980. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Marxian Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 505-530, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    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.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2011-02 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Doepke, Matthias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2014. "Culture, Entrepreneurship, and Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1-48, Elsevier.
    3. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1789-1891, Elsevier.
    4. Gradstein, Mark, 2008. "Endogenous Reversals of Fortune," IZA Discussion Papers 3469, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," Post-Print halshs-00754788, HAL.
    6. Wu, Jiabin, 2016. "Political Institutions and Preference Evolution," MPRA Paper 69597, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Nauro F. Campos & Abrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-836, September.
    8. Thaize Challier, M.-Christine, 2010. "Socio-political conflict, social distance, and rent extraction in historical perspective," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-67, March.
    9. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2020. "Cultural Transmission, Education-Promoting Attitudes, and Economic Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 173-194, July.
    10. Matthias Doepke, 2007. "The Research Agenda: Matthias Doepke on the Transition from Stagnation to Growth," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), April.
    11. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2017. "On the Joint Evolution of Culture and Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 12000, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Christopher Ellis & John Fender, 2016. "Information Aggregation, Growth, And Franchise Extension With Applications To Female Enfranchisement And Inequality," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 239-267, April.
    13. Dalgaard, C. & Olsson, O., 2007. "Why Are Market Economies Politically Stable? A Theory of Capitalist Cohesion," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0765, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    14. Chakraborty, Shankha & Thompson, Jon C. & Yehoue, Etienne B., 2016. "The culture of entrepreneurship," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 288-317.
    15. Martin Ljunge, 2012. "The Spirit of the Welfare State? Adaptation in the Demand for Social Insurance," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 187-223.
    16. Francesco Giavazzi & Ivan Petkov & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2019. "Culture: persistence and evolution," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 117-154, June.
    17. Aidt, Toke S. & Albornoz, Facundo & Gassebner, Martin, 2018. "The golden hello and political transitions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 157-173.
    18. David Castells-Quintana & Maria del Pilar Lopez-Uribe & Tom McDermott, 2015. "Climate change and the geographical and institutional drivers of economic development," GRI Working Papers 198, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    19. Madsen, Jakob & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Technological change and inequality in the very long run," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    20. Thampanishvong Kannika, 2012. "Provision of Public Goods with the Presence of Inter-Class Conflicts," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, April.
    21. Brian Snowdon, 2008. "Towards a Unified Theory of Economic Growth," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 9(2), pages 97-151, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    communism; inequality; inefficiency; ideology transmission; economic system transitions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201812)174:4_707:tgeocd_2.0.tx_2-q. 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: (Thomas Wolpert). General contact details of provider: https://www.mohrsiebeck.com/jite .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.