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How Much Control is Enough? Monitoring and Enforcement under Stalin

  • Markevich, Andrei

    (Department of Economics University of Warwick (Coventry, UK), Centre for Economical and Financial Research, New Economic School (Moscow, Russia) and Interdisciplinary Centre for Studies in History, Economy and Society (Moscow, Russia))

Given wide scope for asymmetric information in huge hierarchies agents have a large capacity for opportunistic behaviour. Hidden actions increase transactions costs and cause the demand for monitoring and enforcement. Once the latter are costly, this raises questions about their scope, logistics and type. Using historical records, this paper examines the Stalin’s answers to them. We find that Stalin maximised efficiency of the Soviet system of control but had to mitigate with the problems of the loyalty of inspectors themselves and the necessity to lessen the risk of a “chaos of orders” arising from parallel centres of power.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp_829.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 829.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:829
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  1. Andrei Markevich & Mark Harrison, 2006. "Quality, experience, and monopoly: the Soviet market for weapons under Stalin -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 59(1), pages 113-142, 02.
  2. Lorenz Blume & Stefan Voigt, 2007. "Supreme Audit Institutions: Supremely Superfluous? A Cross Country Assessment," ICER Working Papers 03-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  3. Egorov, Georgy & Guriev, Sergei & Sonin, Konstantin, 2006. "Media Freedom, Bureaucratic Incentives and the Resource Curse," CEPR Discussion Papers 5748, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Janos Kornai & Eric Maskin & Gerard Roland, 2002. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," Economics Working Papers 0019, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  5. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Wintrobe,Ronald, 1998. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521583299, june. pag.
  8. Ronald Wintrobe, 2001. "How to understand, and deal with dictatorship: an economist's view," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 35-58, 03.
  9. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Yingyi Qian, 1994. "Incentives and Loss of Control in an Optimal Hierarchy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 527-544.
  11. Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, 1985. "Control: Organizational and Economic Approaches," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(2), pages 134-149, February.
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