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Scratch a Would-Be Planner: Robbins, Neoclassical Economics and the End of Socialism

  • Brigitte Granville
  • Judith Shapiro

Robbins’s central contribution to the debate on market versus plan links with identification of economics as science of how societies handle scarcity, a central contribution of the Essay. This was not a narrow focus on static efficiency; inflation was a key part of Robbins’s conception of (mis)handling scarcity. The irony that transition to the market led to movement away from the market in economics is analysed, highlighting the obscured role of macroeconomics, and questioning a new conventional wisdom that Russia should have followed the Chinese path of gradual and Pareto-improving institutional development. A conclusion is that the demise of the Washington Consensus should not lead to a new dogma: the neoclassical paradigm is not being replaced but extended.

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File URL: http://webspace.qmul.ac.uk/pmartins/CGRWP11.pdf
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Paper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research in its series Working Papers with number 11.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cgs:wpaper:11
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  1. Peter Murrell, 1991. "Can Neoclassical Economics Underpin the Reform of Centrally Planned Economies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 59-76, Fall.
  2. Peter Murrell, 2003. "Institutions and Firms in Transition Economies," Electronic Working Papers 03-004, University of Maryland, Department of Economics.
  3. Campos, Nauro F & Coricelli, Fabrizio, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What we Know, What we Don't and What we Should," CEPR Discussion Papers 3246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. North, Douglass C., 1993. "Economic Performance through Time," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1993-2, Nobel Prize Committee.
  5. Grosjean, Pauline & Senik, Claudia, 2007. "Should Market Liberalization precede Democracy ? Causal Relations between Political Preferences and Development," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0704, CEPREMAP.
  6. Coase, Ronald H., 1991. "The Institutional Structure of Production," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1991-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
  7. Peter Oppenheimer & Brigitte Granville, 2001. "Russia’s Post-Communist Economy," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(1), pages 149-168, January.
  8. Rudiger Ahrend, 2004. "Accounting for Russia's Post-Crisis Growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 404, OECD Publishing.
  9. Rostowski, Jacek, 1998. "Macroeconomic Instability in Post-Communist Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290483, March.
  10. Rudiger Ahrend & William Tompson, 2005. "Fifteen Years of Economic Reform in Russia: What has been Achieved? What Remains to be Done?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 430, OECD Publishing.
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