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How Much Control is Enough? Monitoring and Enforcement under Stalin

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  • 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))

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Markevich, Andrei, 2007. "How Much Control is Enough? Monitoring and Enforcement under Stalin," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 829, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:829
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Harrison, 2016. "Fact and Fantasy in Soviet Records:The Documentation of Soviet Party and Secret Police Investigations as Historical Evidence," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 263, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    2. Mark Harrison & Inga Zaksauskienė, 2016. "Counter-intelligence in a command economy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(1), pages 131-158, February.
    3. Mark Harrison, 2013. "Secrecy, Fear and Transaction Costs: The Business of Soviet Forced Labour in the Early Cold War," Europe-Asia Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 65(6), pages 1112-1135.
    4. Harrison, Mark, 2017. "Secrecy and State Capacity: A Look Behind the Iron Curtain," Economic Research Papers 269312, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    5. Harrison, Mark, 2009. "Forging Success : Soviet Managers and False Accounting, 1943 to 1962," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 909, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    6. Andrei Markevich, 2007. "The Dictator’s Dilemma: to Punish or to Assist? Plan Failures and Interventions under Stalin," Working Papers w0107, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    7. Miller, Marcus & Smith, Jennifer C., 2015. "In the shadow of the Gulag: Worker discipline under Stalin," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 531-548.
    8. Harrison, Mark, 2008. "Whistleblower or Troublemaker? How One Man Took on the Soviet Mafia," Economic Research Papers 271309, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    9. Harrison, Mark, 2011. "Forging success: Soviet managers and accounting fraud, 1943-1962," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 43-64, March.
    10. Harrison, Mark, 2013. "The Economics of Coercion and Conflict: an Introduction," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 151, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    11. repec:cge:wacage:2018 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    asymmetric information ; principal-agent problem ; transaction costs ; hierarchy ; USSR;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • P21 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Socialist and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-

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