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Why Did the Soviet Economic System Collapse: Two Schools of Thought


  • Treml, Vladimir G.


The paper examines two prevalent schools of thought explaining the deterioration of the economy and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet system. The first explanation places the blame on Gorbachev's poorly designed perestroika which destroyed the well functioning central planning system without creating a workable alternative. The second school of thought maintains that the Soviet variety of Marxian socialism has never been a viable system and carried its own seeds of destruction. According to this view the collapse of the Soviet Union would have happened sooner or later with or without Gorbachev because of the cumulative effect of allocative errors of the planning system.

Suggested Citation

  • Treml, Vladimir G., 1995. "Why Did the Soviet Economic System Collapse: Two Schools of Thought," Working Papers 95-54, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:95-54

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    JEL classification:

    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • P27 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Performance and Prospects
    • P39 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Other


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